VIDEO: Kristen Stewart Romances Another British Actor in The Yellow Handkerchief

Feb. 25 2010, Published 9:36 a.m. ET

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Two years after it made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, the heartfelt drama The Yellow Handkerchief will have its theatrical release on Friday. A pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart gives a beautifully simmering performance on par with those of her talented co-stars, proving she is more than the unrequited obsession of Robert Pattinson's vampire counterpart.

VIDEO: Kristen Stewart Wins BAFTA Rising Star Award

Article continues below advertisement has a clip from the movie in which Stewart shares some romantic screen time with another British hunk Eddie Redmayne.

The quartet of the film- Stewart, Redmayne, Academy Award-winner William Hurt and Maria Bello- is mesmerizing. Playing individuals broken down by life, the four actors make this road movie about personal redemption a intimate experience for the viewer who truly gets a sense about who these characters are and what motivates them forward.

Set in Louisiana post-Hurricane Katrina, the movie uses its haunting location as a fitting backdrop for the characters' ghosts. Stewart's Martine and Redmayne's Gordy stumble towards a romance together while trying to help Hurt's freshly released ex-convict Brett sort out his demons and his enduring love for ex-wife May (Bello).

Hurt quietly powers the film with his haunting eyes yearning for salvation. His layered performance seems effortless. He allows viewers to peek into Brett's nuanced soul while also keeping them at bay, ensuring a vital level of mystery to remain. From the first scene to the last, Brett keeps the audience's attention by slowly doling out intriguing revelations to his psyche.

Hurt and Bello's chemistry is a beautiful thing to watch, but also points to a potential flaw in the film. The flashbacks about their past together is so riveting, that it leaves a sense of emptiness on other parts of the film.  After the heat of May and Brett's relationship, Martine and Gordy's budding

fling can seem trivial.

Still, it is a wonder to see Stewart doing her job before all of the distractions from her Twilight fame descended. The Yellow Handkerchief is a reminder that yes, she can act.


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