The Yellow Handkerchief 2010

The Yellow Handkerchief

Critics Consensus

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.

66%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 50

59%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,153

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Movie Info

Former con man Brett Hanson (William Hurt) is imprisoned for six years before finally being released on parole. Now he needs to get back home to Louisiana and the ex-wife (Maria Bello) he left there, so when he meets Gordy (Eddie Redmayne) and Martine (Kristen Stewart) on a road trip south, he accepts their offer to give him a ride. While Brett wonders whether his ex-wife will want to see him again, Gordy harbors a crush on Martine, who is trying to recover from her painful past.

Cast

Kaori Momoi
as Motel Owner
Emanuel K. Cohn
as Male Doctor
Nurith Cohn
as Female Nurse
Grover Coulson
as Farnsworth
Veronica Russell
as Pregnant Woman/Warden Genaro
Lisha Brock
as Waitress
Lucy Faust
as Snotty Girl
Ross Britz
as Friend
Marshall Cain
as Ferry Driver
Aimee Spring Fortier
as Teenage Mother
Ross Francis
as Boyfriend
Jeffrey Galpin
as Policeman #2
Ashlynn Ross
as Delivery Girl
Tanner Gill
as Man in Rain
Eric F. Adams
as Bank Accessor
Shane Tingle
as Ferry Driver #2
Michael Kennedy
as Tony Freckles
Paige Pareti
as Girl in Video
Bello Nock
as Bello Nock
Victor Brunette
as Chippy White
Holly O'Quinn
as Female Nurse
Noelle Bercy
as Dancer 1
View All

News & Interviews for The Yellow Handkerchief

Critic Reviews for The Yellow Handkerchief

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (17)

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

    April 2, 2010 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top 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 | Rating: 2/4
  • The unhurried direction of Udayan Prasad and the unafraid choices of the sure-footed cast keep this character-driven drama afloat.

    April 1, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
  • 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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The Yellow Handkerchief is a surprisingly moving drama -- a throwback to the small, character-driven indies of yesteryear.

    March 12, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Even Stewart, an untutored colt of an actress who can toggle between natural grace and utter haplessness, finds her groove here.

    March 12, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Yellow Handkerchief

  • Oct 26, 2012
    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.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2012
    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.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2012
    In "The Yellow Handkerchief," Brett(William Hurt) has just gotten out of jail after serving a six year sentence. After enjoying the benefits of freedom like slowly drinking a beer, he heads towards the river where he catches a ride with Gordy(Eddie Redmayne), an awkward young man who is exploring the area in a vintage convertible, even though he already has a passenger in the person of Martine(Kristen Stewart). Brett does not feel comfortable being in the car on the ferry, even during a storm, and sleeps in the bathroom at a motel room they get for the night. But Gordy's untoward advances towards Martine force a rift in the trio until he tells them that because of the storm, there are no buses running that day. 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.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2012
    Heartfelt, emotional, and amazing screenplay with great performances. Worth watching at least once.
    Sam R Super Reviewer

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