USA, 2007, 102 minutes
Fri, May 2 / 7:00 / Castro / AWAR02C
This deftly acted four-hander—featuring a beautifully restrained performance by William Hurt, a luminous turn by the lovely and supremely talented Maria Bello and a halting but heartfelt young-lovers’ pas de deux by newcomers Eddie Redmayne and Kristen Stewart—is a soulful tale of love, loss and redemption set along the blue highways of rural Louisiana. Hurt plays a decent and humble man faltering on the threshold of wisdom, just released from prison but still suffering from the mistakes he made years before. He hitches a ride with a pair of teenagers, who are themselves strangers to each other, and the unlikely trio embark on a stop-and-start journey that leads them in roundabout but inexorable fashion to the aching heart of what they most want and need. In a series of fiery flashbacks as Hurt’s lost love, Bello provides the emotional energy that animates this poignant drama and drives it forward to its joyous conclusion, while Redmayne and Stewart are truly young talents to watch: he with his painful high-strung vulnerability and she with her hopeful beauty and brave composure. Produced by the legendary Arthur Cohn (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Central Station, The Chorus), lushly shot by two-time Oscar-winner Chris Menges (The Mission, The Killing Fields) and masterfully directed by Udayan Prasad (who has had three prior films at SFIFF, and whose Running Late won the 1992 Golden Gate Award for Best Television Feature), The Yellow Handkerchief is a stirring tale of first love and second chances.
West Coast Premiere. Sponsored by Elizabeth Arden.