Actors Save Soggy Yellow Handkerchief
William Hurt, Kristen Stewart make old story work
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2010 12:08 PM CST

(Newser) – Critics misted up during The Yellow Handkerchief, the tale of an ex-con’s search for his estranged wife, taken from an Pete Hamill story. Here’s what they’re saying:

  • “Beautifully acted” and “gorgeously photographed,” The Yellow Hankerchief “tells a timeless fable, and tells it extremely well,” writes Lou Lumenick in the New York Post. A pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart “shows star presence in a very tricky part.”

  • “What sounds like just another weepy Reader's Digest story takes on real gravitas” in the hands of director Udayan Prasad, writes Peter Debruge of Variety. The characters feel “lived in.”
  • The somewhat contrived script is “too slow-moving to engage many outside of art houses,” writes Kirk Honeycutt in The Hollywood Reporter. But the actors save it with “painful honesty in all the performances.”
  • “A lesser actor than William Hurt would just let his mustache do the work,” writes Keith Phipps of the Onion AV Club. Instead, his performance makes the movie seem profound—at least until you notice that the story is so insubstantial that “one good gust of coastal breeze would blow” it away.