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The Yellow Handkerchief

Four troubled souls take a journey of discovery through Louisiana

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Load up the vintage convertible and head south for the Bayou of Broken Dreams! Yes, it's another indie-movie road trip, and the passengers include a troubled teen (Kirsten Stewart), a troubled twentysomething (Eddie Redmayne) and a troubled middle-aged ex-con named Brett (William Hurt). Brett's the laconic mystery man, and his backstory unfolds in scattered flashbacks as he fills the two kids in on what it really means to mess up your life. Back in the past, Brett had a lady love (Maria Bello), and everything suggests that that relationship is the cause of Brett's current sad state. Director Udayan Prasad parcels out Brett's history with enough finesse to keep viewers interested. While Hurt and Bello do good work as a pair of emotionally beat-up lovers, Stewart and Redmayne can't sell their hackneyed characters. Their presence is mostly to act as a catalyst for Brett's literal and emotional journey. And astute viewers may find even that material to be familiar: The film is based on a Pete Hamill story, which has already been adapted into a popular song and a 1977 Japanese film. But viewers who like a sentimental journey to a pre-determined destination may enjoy the ride. Starts Fri., April 30. Manor

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