The Yellow Handkerchief Reviews
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.
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.
Wallpaper seems to be an apt descriptor for this film though. It's kinda nice to look at - KStew is very pretty with her balletic movements and rust-red hair pulled off her face - but it's ultimately just background - too many flashbacks detailing Brett and May's melodramatically tumultuous relationship and the disappointing reason for Brett's incarceration.
Eddie Redmayne is the only highlight as the mildly retarded or extremely subversive Gordy.
Director: Udayan Prasad
Summary: Recently released from jail, convict Brett Hanson (William Hurt) grows close to a young couple, Martine (Kristen Stewart) and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne), while journeying back home to his wife, May (Maria Bello). Set in Louisiana, this romantic road trip drama explores the loneliness everyone carries.
My Thoughts: "This is a character driven story. The acting was really good in this film, and its important that it was because this story depended on it. Maria Bello was great as May who's had a tough life. Kristen Stewart also puts in a great performance as Martine, a girl who is just looking for someone to take care of her and for someone to notice her. Eddie Redmayne was brilliant as Gordy, the nerdy outspoken bright teenager. But it is William Hurt that stands out in this film. He was superb as Brett the quiet tortured soul who just got out of a six yr. stint in prison. The love story in this film is bittersweet. Brett thinks by giving May a way out of the marriage, is saving her from him. He thinks if he wasn't in the picture he couldn't cause her pain. But breaking away from her wasn't so easy for him. During the film you are shown flashbacks of their life together as he tells their story. He realizes he gave up on the only person he has ever, and will ever love. So even through all the years that have passed, he still finds himself longing for that intense love that they shared. Its a tortured kind of love. It's also a story about three lonely individuals looking to belong and for acceptance. Great film if you can handle the slowness of the film. I love road trip films, and a good love story. So this was just my kind of film."
To its credit, "The Yellow Handkerchief" takes its time in telling its subtly crafted story of characters lost both literally and figuratively in a changed landscape due to Hurricane Katrina, allowing us to get to know them as the movie builds slowly to its neat emotional payoff. Along the way, there is local flavor interspersed with thoughts on forgiveness. That's not to mention the lived in performance from William Hurt, along with the usual exemplary work from Maria Bello.