Like Tony Orlando & Dawn's 1973 #1 single, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree," Udayan Prasad's Southern-fried sudser descends from a 1971 column Pete Hamill penned for the New York Post. (Even Yôji Yamada broke from directing 48 Tora-san movies to film a version that swept Japan's inaugural Academy Awards in '78.)
Prasad's take on the well-traveled folk tale (it didn't originate with Hamill — he was just smart enough to put it down on paper) won't win any Oscars, even if William Hurt (and his killer ex-con 'stache) does accolade-worthy brooding as Brett Hanson, setting up flashback scenes with the equally fine Maria Bello's May, the wife he left behind for a six-year jail sentence.
Too bad he's imprisoned in a road movie with the less artfully sullen Kristen Stewart (Twilight) and the eccentric Eddie Redmayne, who was recently seen getting pushed out of a plane in The Good Shepherd. Would it have killed Hurt to push Redmayne from this film's car?