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The Yellow Handkerchief
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Reviewed on 2010-05-15
Received[3]  out of 4 stars
GenreDrama / Romance
Three strangers form the bonds of a makeshift family as they take a road trip through the Louisiana bayous in an old convertible.

Brett Hanson (William Hurt from “Into the Wild” and “A History of Violence”) is a free man again after serving a six-year prison sentence for manslaughter. Martine (Kristen Stewart, best known as Bella Swan from the “The Twilight Saga” movies) is a troubled teenager who feels ignored by her truck driver father. Gordy (Eddie Redmayne from “The Other Boleyn Girl”) is a misunderstood youngster who grew up on an Indian reservation.

Their paths cross one lazy afternoon at a diner in a backwater town. They end up spending three memorable days together.

Brett is a man of few words, but he slowly reveals his painful past to the two kids. It involves his relationship with ex-wife May (Maria Bello from “A History of Violence,” “Thank You for Smoking” and “The Cooler”). His story is dramatized in flashbacks, which become the beating heart and motivational impetus of the movie.

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.

High praise goes to British director Udayan Prasad for using the eyes of the performers as windows to the soul. Screenwriter Erin Dignam has an astute understanding of the way men and women approach intimacy and love. Men are willing to jump right in before testing the water. Women want to get to know and feel comfortable around another person initially.

All the characters come from broken homes and are seeking a sense of belonging.

This film adaptation comes from a 1971 article written by Pete Hamill that inspired the Tony Orlando and Dawn hit song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree.”

Oscar-winning cinematographer Chris Menges (“The Reader,” “Michael Collins,” “The Mission” and “The Killing Fields”) wields a very observant camera that captures crucial non-verbal reactions.

Besides the lush green and swampy scenery of rural Louisiana, post-Katrina New Orleans and Morgan City background locations add immensely to the sentimental, thought-provoking atmosphere.

This slice-of-life romantic drama is now playing for a limited engagement exclusively at Screenland Crown Center.

Review By:
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"


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