The Yellow Handkerchief (2008 film)

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The Yellow Handkerchief
Directed by Udayan Prasad
Produced by Arthur Cohn
Written by Erin Dignam
Starring William Hurt
Maria Bello
Kristen Stewart
Eddie Redmayne
Music by Eef Barzelay
Jack Livesey
Cinematography Chris Menges
Edited by Christopher Tellefsen
Production
  company
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Release date(s)
  • January 18, 2008 (2008-01-18) (Sundance)
  • February 26, 2010 (2010-02-26) (United States)
Running time 102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15.5 million[1]
Box office $318,623

The Yellow Handkerchief is a 2008 independent drama film. The film is a remake of the 1977 Japanese classic of the same name The Yellow Handkerchief (幸福の黄色いハンカチ Shiawase no kiiroi hankachi, lit. The yellow handkerchief of happiness) directed by Yoji Yamada.[2] Set in present-day southern United States, The Yellow Handkerchief stars William Hurt as Brett Hanson, an ex-convict who embarks on a road trip straight out of prison. Hanson hitches a ride with two troubled teens, Martine (Kristen Stewart) and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne) traversing post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana in an attempt to reach his ex-wife and long-lost love, May (Maria Bello). Along the way, the three reflect on their existence, struggle for acceptance, and find their way not only through Louisiana, but through life.[3] Directed by Udayan Prasad and produced by Arthur Cohn, the film was shown at Sundance in 2008 and given a limited release on February 26, 2010, by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Plot[edit]

After being released from prison after six years, ex-convict Brett Hanson becomes lost in a new and unfamiliar world of freedoms and responsibilities. Struggling to reconcile himself with his disastrous past, he embarks on a journey to his home of Southern Louisiana to reunite with the ex-wife he left behind, May (Maria Bello). Along this journey, he meets two teenagers: Martine (Kristen Stewart), a troubled 15-year-old who has just escaped her family, and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne), a geeky outcast desperately seeking acceptance. Martine and Gordy offer to give Brett a lift home, and on the ensuing road trip the three reflect on their own personal misfit status while discovering in themselves and each other the acceptance each so deeply desires. Brett weighs whether to start a new life or rekindle his love with May – he's not sure she'll take him back[3] – while Martine reevaluates her relationships with boys and her family and Gordy struggles with his affection for Martine.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In 2003, Cohn obtained remake rights for The Yellow Handkerchief from Shochiku.[4] Financing came from private investments rather than through pre-sales. Cohn commented saying "The money came from four Europeans – three women from Switzerland: Annette Grisard, Jeannine Eckenstein, Esther Grether and a gentleman by the name of Samuel Falk from Austria – all of whom were anxious to support a film they hoped would be memorable without any scenes of violence, brutality or sex. These investors were not concerned that the film would be considered 'small'. They felt, as we do, that there are no small films or big films, only films which are good and emotional and others which are not."[5]

Filming took place in February 2007 and was shot in 43 different locations.

Hurt prepared for his role by spending four days at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, including a rare overnight for a volunteer in a maximum-security cell. In an interview, he said he'd also done "[y]ou'd call it charitable work ... periodically visit[ing] the prisons in Rockland County in New York State to take a program of hope and self-rehabilitation to" the prisoners.[3]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The Yellow Handkerchief received generally positive reviews. It holds a 70% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 38 reviews,[6] as well as a weighted average score of 64 out of 100 on Metacritic.[7] It holds an 83% "Top Critic" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, 15 wrote positive reviews while 3 wrote negative reviews.

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $318,623 in 29 theaters in the United States.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Yellow Handkerchief (2010)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Prasad to direct Cohn's remake of Yellow Handkerchief". Screen Daily. February 12, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Interview with William Hurt: Transcript, Terry Gross for Fresh Air, February 25, 2010. Plot summary in interview confirms all but Bello character name in introductory plot summary. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  4. ^ "Cohn buys up Yellow Handkerchief remake rights". Screen Daily. September 10, 2003. Retrieved July 17, 2010. 
  5. ^ Official film Web site.[dead link]
  6. ^ "The Yellow Handkerchief (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Yellow Handkerchief, The". Metacritic. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 

External links[edit]