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on August 21, 2010
In the days of The Expandables action movies or FX fantasies, The Yellow Handkerchief is a real gem of pure humanity and emotion.
In this road movie, 2 teenagers travel with an ex-convict, and they are just 2 empty vessels eager to be filled by the life experiences of William Hurt and build their future adulthood.

William Hurt's character has a lot to rebuild too, and his acting is magnificent all along. The 2 teens are Kristen Stewart and Eddie Redmayne, who are also transforming and learning about themselves and relationships with others at the same pace as the road trip. There is a good feeling from the start of the movie and a nice progression till the end. Eddie Redmayne is particularly shining as a modest character, just like he is in the current The Pillars of the Earth series.

Definitely the best coming of age and road movie for a while. A long while, since it was first shown at the Sundance festival over 2.5 years ago, and still no DVD on the horizon.
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on July 28, 2010
This somewhat quirky Independent drama, a remake of a Japanese film based upon an American short story, features a very powerful performance by William Hurt. The poignant, but understated, plot highlights the loneliness we all face as 3 unlikely companions make a road trip through rural Louisiana. Bravo!
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on September 15, 2010
This movie has been on dvd about a year. Amazon apparently missed that information. If you want a copy, do as I did: order a used copy from the Amazon Marketplace. It is a good movie--the plot is not all that stirring, but the acting is quite good.
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on July 4, 2012
As another reviewer mentioned, this film doesn't depend on excessive action sequences and special effects. I grew up watching old movies on tv and love films that depend on character development, dialogue, and good actors. This film filled these criteria well.

I was especially intrigued by Eddie Redmayne. I had seen him in Birdsong Masterpiece Classic: Birdsong and he didn't overly impress me, but he really excelled in this part. He plays the goofy young man so effectively. He immersed himself in his portrayal of Gordy so much you would never guess that he was educated at Eton and Cambridge.

The other two primary actors were very also good. William Hurt always performs to a high standard. I found his protrayal of Brett to be sensitive, compassionate and strong. And no other actress plays the conflicted young woman as well as Kristen Stewart.

It's unfortunate that this film isn't better known. It is a touching story, well acted.
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THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF is a very quiet, small film that depends on dialogue rather than action. It began as a short story by Pete Hamill and was adapted for the screen by Erin Dignam. As directed with quiet intensity by Indian director Udayan Prasad the film is more an exploration of isolated individuals who for different reasons do not fit into society and how four of those individuals discover themselves through their interaction with each other.

Brett Hanson (William Hurt) is discharged form prison where he has served six years for manslaughter: he has a history of run-ins with the law and seems to face his release with a certain degree of fear of the outside world. He meets two youngsters - the lonely Martine (Kristen Stewart) who has only a father and an absent one at that, and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne), a Native American asocial misfit itinerant - and because of a sever rain storm the three set out in Gordy's car to find shelter. They stay in motels and gradually each characters past unfolds: the running development is Brett's history of coming close to a significant relationship with a fearful woman named May (Maria Bello) whose fear of relationships was temporarily resolved with her romance with Brett - all of this history is played through flashback scenes when Brett was working oil rigs in New Orleans. Martine and Gordy are fascinated and a bit fearful of Brett as an ex-con but they both connect with Brett's essentially good spirit and insist that he stay with them and allow the bonding youngsters t help him recover the one love he had.

Two generations of lost people collide then bond and learn from each other. There is considerable emotional energy in this somewhat laconic film with as much being discovered by silences as with dialogue. William Hurt offers a profoundly understated performance: Stewart and Redmayne provide the perfect naïve foil for his reconnection with the world outside prison walls - both the physical prison he has just left and the mental prison in which he has been hiding all his life. Maria Bello is convincing as the strong woman who fears vulnerability while desperately in need of being loved. This is a film that may not have made it in theaters but is probably best viewed in the intimacy of the home via DVD. Grady Harp, July 11
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on April 27, 2012
William Hurt shines in this little road pic, as he plays grown-up against two quirky teens as they try to come of age while he struggles with his loser past. No violence. Just a lot of dialogue as the unlikely trio hit the road in upstate Louisiana after a storm has left them stranded. It doesn't make a lot of sense that the two teens are on the road together. She is 15 and he isn't much older. Hurt just got out of prison, but they don't know that yet. He is looking for a woman from his past. The ending will make you smile. Hollywood!
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on November 19, 2010
Like someone already commented and reviewed, who needs Special Fx, action sequences and CGI, when you can watch a nice little drama movie where the actors really can act and shine throughout the entire movie.

Like I said Superb acting 101. Hurt doesn't get any better than here, Bello too. Eddie and Kristen are in a league of their own when it comes to young actors, they really know their craft.

It's been so long since a movie has made me cry, and cry I did. I loved it. Highly recommend it.
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on March 4, 2013
I'm not sure what caught my attention initially, but I'm glad that whatever it was got my eye because the time spent with this story and performance were worth it. The initial opening and situation of the story are contrived, I think as those things have to be in order to get the characters together and action moving. It is not a simple and straightforward tale. I freely admit expecting an entirely ordinary story line. Yellow Handkerchief is well above that. The tale is involved enough to be engaging and each of the three actors does a more than adequate job. I think they each give strong and successful performances. I like the movie and will move it to my "watch again" pile for repeat viewing. It is well worth it.
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on April 18, 2012
The Yellow Handkerchief is about an unlikely trio of travelers on a road trip through Louisiana (post Katrina). There's Brett (William Hurt) who starts out fairly mysterious. He just got out of prison and I don't know what for or where he's going, but somehow I like him anyway. Then there's Martine (Kristin Stewart), a teen who decides that running away from home is a good way to deal with her 'daddy' issues, and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne) a very cute and kinda odd boy who becomes her ride.

I wanted to watch this film for somewhat fan-girl reasons (having just finished watching Pillars of the Earth and developing a sizable crush on Eddie Redmayne), but I was genuinely impressed with the way this film played out. It drifts in time between before Brett was in jail and the road trip, slowly unraveling the truth about his past, what he was put away for and where he's going. This back and forth had the potential to be confusing (or annoying), but was in fact very well done with the flashbacks never lasting too long.

Primarily, this was a story about Brett and the one thing in his life he has ever loved - a woman named May. His story was quite simple in the end and really touching. The secondary story was that of the developing relationship between Martine and Gordy, a much more innocent and awkwardly 'young' affair. I loved Eddie Redmayne's character, the way he managed to make me feel awkward on his behalf and yet always keep me caring and rooting for him. I enjoyed how much he was able to change over the course of such a short film (only an hour and a half) and come to the point of being genuinely adorable. He and Martine managed to make me grin on more than one occasion.

All in all, I loved this film - its honesty and its sweetness made it a memorable watch.
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on July 20, 2013
This is not a run-of-the mill movie. It's unique. Imagine a depressed man released from prison, and doesn't quite know what to expect. Eddie Redmayne never disappoints, and always makes his characters believable. He thinks no one likes him, and that he gets on their nerves. The girl is a miserable 15 year old with all the real or imagined problems of that age - and just wants to get away. So, these three together make up quite an interesting team. Maria Bello is an added bonus, and the film is watchable from beginning to end.
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