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The Yellow Handkerchief (2010)



Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 49
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 16

Small and intimate -- occasionally to a fault -- The Yellow Handkerchief rises above its overly familiar ingredients thanks to riveting performances from William Hurt and Kristen Stewart.


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 6

Small and intimate -- occasionally to a fault -- The Yellow Handkerchief rises above its overly familiar ingredients thanks to riveting performances from William Hurt and Kristen Stewart.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 12,994

My Rating

Movie Info

A love story at its core, :"The Yellow Hankerchief" is about three strangers of two generations who embark on a road trip through post Katrina, La. Along the way, relationships forge and change in a myriad of ways, leading to the possibility of second chances at life and love. Brett Hanson dealing with a painful past, crosses paths with Martine, a troubled teenager, and her new 'ride' Gordy. The trio head out together, each motivated by his/her own reasons: Brett must decide whether he wants to


Drama, Romance

Erin Dignam

Jul 1, 2010


Samuel Goldwyn Films - Official Site External Icon

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January 22, 2008:
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All Critics (49) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (16)

This is basically brooding people doing awkward things in a humid environment.

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The only positive thing about the aimless film The Yellow Handkerchief is the idea that William Hurt may be ready for his Jeff Bridges moment.

April 1, 2010
Miami Herald
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The unhurried direction of Udayan Prasad and the unafraid choices of the sure-footed cast keep this character-driven drama afloat.

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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The Yellow Handkerchief is a love story. Two, really. At its center is the sweetly fractured ticking of a broken heart on the mend.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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This modest but moving indie ensemble piece puts three estimable actors in a convertible, sets them on a long drive to post-Katrina Louisiana and lets the character dynamics do the rest.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Yellow Handkerchief is a surprisingly moving drama -- a throwback to the small, character-driven indies of yesteryear.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Taking time off from vampire infatuation but still into Native male magnets, Kristen Stewart does a snobby sexpot, while the bayou weepie conjures a relentless alien place where crocodiles, snakes and eccentric when not unhinged redneck humans roam free

October 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Reelrave

Just as the relationships at the core of this drama, The Yellow Handkerchief is one big compromise. Make do with the lackluster parts and receive something uniquely pleasant.

August 13, 2010 Full Review Source:

A well-acted little film, The Yellow Handkerchief captures the loneliness of these characters and the sparks of hope they harbor, despite everything.

August 11, 2010 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

This uplifting film is an indie gem with a wonderful payoff that will bring you to tears. The acting is superlative and makes this emotionally moving experience good to the last drop.

May 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

When The Yellow Handkerchief finally hooks into the meat of Hamill's source story, the narrative tension puts enough wind in the film's sails to arrive at its corny but sentimentally satisfying conclusion.

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

William Hurt and Kristen Stewart and a long, sleepy road

April 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Unfortunately, the precision and presence Hurt brings to the table aren't enough to carry this warmed-over Southern melodrama.

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Never feels like anything but a movie with its characters who constantly say what they're feeling and doing and it never once feels genuine or organic.

March 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Retriever
Movie Retriever

The story arc of Handkerchief is entirely predictable, and the direction is pedestrian. But its pleasures are to be found in the graceful acting of Hurt and Bello...

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

It's a road movie, so everyone argues, then confides in one another, then come out besties in the end. And if you can't guess where the central, broken romance is heading, finding out is as easy as a song.

March 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper

Prasad's take on the well-traveled folk tale (it didn't originate with Hamill -- he was just smart enough to put it down on paper) won't win any Oscars...

March 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Audience Reviews for The Yellow Handkerchief

On his way to meet his estranged wife, an ex-convict hitches a ride with a manic teenage runaway and a lost girl who seeks a father figure.
William Hurt delivers another remarkable performance as Brett. Like few other actors, Hurt is able to capture the depth of a damaged soul, a man devastated by his luck and driven to despise his own role in the movie of his life. His scenes with Maria Bello are heart-warming, and he even makes Kristen Stewart look like a real actress. With Hurt by her side, Stewart abandons all her acting crutches -- clutching her hair, contorting her face into a semblance of human emotion, deadpan reactions that say nothing about her character. Hurt does more than make Stewart an actress; in her scenes with him, he makes her an interesting human being. I've seen many of Stewart's films, and this is the only one in which she is bearable.
Director Udayan Prasad does a good job of visually capturing regret. A bare foot, someone walking by - a multitude of quotidian event can spark a reverie of regret, and Prasad turns a lazy narrative technique into a visual representation of Brett's inner life.
The plot, however, is disappointing. Martine and Gordy don't have compelling backstories, and we are given no clue as to why Brett's story has such an emotion impact on them. When we finally discover the reason for Brett's incarceration, the event is a let-down compared to the build-up, and there isn't any evidence to convince the audience that Brett has learned anything during his time in prison; in fact, the film reinforces the fact that people don't change, and thus it's hard to root for Brett, even though Hurt's performance makes it difficult not to care for him at least a little bit.
Overall, I don't see why William Hurt can't play Edward or Jacob or both; at least the leading lady wouldn't be so insufferable.
October 26, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

A little disappointing - kind of dull story that hinted at more than it actually was in the flashbacks. Good cast and good acting. I wouldn't say it is a horrible movie, or not worth watching, but I had hoped it would be better. Kristen is the standout here.
March 17, 2012

Super Reviewer

A love lost in the past. A love struggling for a future.

Good movie. Kinda of a slow story but develops really well if you have the patience. The film's perspective is about tolerance, acceptance of things as they are, and forgiveness for loved ones and above all for ones self. A very good performance from William Hurt and everyone in this film. If you like road movies this is one to see, very deep.

One lazy afternoon in a backwater Louisiana town, Martine takes a leap into an unfamiliar convertible. The driver, Gordy, an awkward young itinerant who eyed her in the diner earlier, isn't displeased to find this pretty sylph in his front seat. Soon they meet Brett, a laconic, humble man just released from prison. Martine isn't keen on going solo with Gordy, and now it's raining cats and dogs, so she invites Brett along, and the unlikely trio sets out, each person unsure of the destination. What ensues is a journey through the lush green byways of rural Louisiana and into the depths of these characters' souls.
November 22, 2011
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

The legendary William Hurt does a fantastic job in this moving, yet rather slow, drama. The performances by all were subtle, layered, and charming. A really good story told in a really nice way, with an extremely touching ending. Good Indie flick.
November 21, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Gordy: This is your fate. Now you gotta play this out till the end or else you're gonna walk around like a ghost the rest of your life.
    – Submitted by Holland B (17 months ago)
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