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The Walker
Year:
2007
Country:
USA, UK
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
6.0
Director:
Paul Schrader
Woody Harrelson as Carter Page III
Kristin Scott Thomas as Lynn Lockner
Lauren Bacall as Natalie Van Miter
Ned Beatty as Jack Delorean
Moritz Bleibtreu as Emek Yoglu
Mary Beth Hurt as Chrissie Morgan
Lily Tomlin as Abigail Delorean
Willem Dafoe as Larry Lockner
William Hope as Mungo Tenant
Geff Francis as Detective Dixon
Steven Hartley as Robbie Kononsberg
Garrick Hagon as John Krebs
Michael J. Reynolds as Ethan Withal
Allen Lidkey as Andrew Salesperson
Storyline: Carter Page III holds a special place in Washington society: the gay son and grandson of powerful men, he has connections, manners, and he's no threat, so he's an available escort when a woman's husband would rather not accompany her to a public event. When the secret lover of one of his women friends is murdered, she asks Carter to cover for her, and his acquiescence gets him into immediate trouble with the police and an ambitious prosecutor. Carter, with the help of his lover Emek, starts his own investigation. They're warned off by someone's hired muscle. Can Carter figure out what happened or will he lose more than he realizes he has? Human behavior is a mystery.
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Reviews
A Pretentious Story of Power and Corruption
In Washington, the sophisticated homosexual Carter "Car" Page III (Woody Harrelson) is a "walker", escorting the wives of powerful men in social events, clubs and shopping. Car is the son and grandson of famous politicians and circulates in the high-society of Washington; his lover is the journalist Emek Yoglu (Moritz Bleibtreu). One afternoon, Car brings his client and friend Lynn Lockner (Kristin Scott Thomas), who is the wife of the politician Larry Lockner (Willem Dafoe), to meet her lover Robbie Kononsberg (Steven Hartley) at his apartment. Out of the blue, Lynn comes shaking to his car and tells that Robbie is murdered in his apartment. Lynn tells that she can not call the police, since Larry is investigating a financial scandal with the company Ultimate that is administrated by Robbie and the scandal would destroy her husband. Car brings her home, returns to the crime scene and calls the police. However, the ambitious district attorney Mungo Tenant (William Hope) receives inside information about the love affair of Robbie and Lynn and presses Car to betray Lynn. But Car and Emek prefer to investigate the murder by themselves and find a network of power and corruption.

"The Walker" is a pretentious story of power and corruption in the American politics. Woody Harrelson is absolutely miscast in the role of a classy gay, since neither of these characteristics fits with his profile. The plot is exaggerated and confused, and the resolution is absolutely unreasonable. The logic conclusion should be with the powerful Jack Delorean destroying Car and Emek that have threatened him. Car inclusive tells him that he is aware of the whole situation. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "O Acompanhante" ("The Escort")
2011-03-01
Slow Mystery
I kind of like Paul Schrader. He's earnest, knowing, and awfully candid about himself. He wrote "Taxi Driver" and directed the odd ball remake of "The Cat People" with the toothsome young Nastasja Kinsky.

As far as self exposure goes, he meets his match in Woody Harrelson, who is just as daring and whose acting style seems to be a mixture of his real personality and the particular role he happens accidentally to be playing.

Yet both have some clunkers on their resume, and while this isn't quite that bad it's powerful slow in its unraveling of a complicated murder mystery involving politics, secret agendas, and devious ambition.

The story itself might be more interesting if it had been more carefully pruned. Some scenes of minor importance just seem to go on too long for their own good. There are two scenes of brief violence to add some voltage to the glum proceedings. (I never thought I'd hear myself calling for more action.) Woody Harrelson is pretty good as the impeccably garbed Southern aristocrat who now finds himself a "walker," a paid escort to lone wealthy women in Washington. He's gay, so it's all safe. He plays the subject of interest in the murder in a deliberate manner, which is to say verrry slowww. His drawl is slow. His gestures are prolonged. His very walk looks as if it had been filmed in slow motion. He's got the role down pat though, and -- slow or fast -- he's believable.

You have to applaud the Junoesque Lauren Bacall too. Oh, she's old, but by God she's got spunk and can still act without being self conscious. If she were seen more often in public she could become one of those gay icons -- the sassy old babe who defies age.

Nice location shooting, without the use of the usual Washington, DC, touchstones. There is no undercover appointment at the Jefferson Memorial or anything. Fine job by the production designer and set dresser too.

But you may need to make an effort to keep from nodding out.
2012-02-17
Woody Harrelson delves into the mystery of his own life
"The Walker" is a very good neo-noir. It's a solid 3/4 or 7.5/10 in my book. Writer-director Paul Schrader's combines offbeat character study with realistic suspense generated from an unexpected involvement in a murder scenario. This occurs when the hero (Woody Harrelson) innocently tries to help a friend (Kristin Scott Thomas) so that she and her senator husband (Willem Dafoe) won't be harmed by unnecessary scandal. Schrader balances his story by not letting the thriller part turn exaggerated and unrealistic.

The hero is a gay escort of Washington wives who is subjected mostly to insidious behind-the-scenes pressures that make him a suspect, threaten his position, turn people against him and place him in the hands of police. Some physical pressures also occur against him and the man he lives with (Moritz Bleibtreu). Their characters and relationship are shown realistically and without exploitation.

The story naturally brings in other Washington characters to show its social environment, affected as it is by intense gossip and bits of information that make or break the power and influence of its notables. A strong cast handles this, including Lauren Bacall, Lily Tomlin and Ned Beatty.

Harrelson tops the cast and again shows his excellent range and quality as an actor. He's afforded a well-written part with a definite character arc that allows him to delve into a murder mystery but moreso into the mystery of his own life.
2016-09-17
The Walker
Paul Schrader made a well staged thriller that lets the audience recognize a certain experience of its maker. Experience in this context isn't only meant positive. On the one hand it guarantees that "The Walker" doesn't end up as a total flop. Throughout the movie I felt there is a man behind the camera, that knows which buttons to push when, and there were some shots or short scenes I found really great. But on the other hand this routine makes the whole movie seem a bit dated. "The Walker" maybe would have had more relevance if made a few centuries earlier. But today a film that explicitly wants to be political but has nothing more to say than some often heard phrases or unmotivated side blows on targets like George Bush, where everybody will agree anyway, has to be considered a failure. What is just great about this movie, however, is Woody Harrelson. When he started talking I often thought I'm sitting in one of Schrader's great movies. "The Walker" is only okay.
2007-10-25
Pretty Good Little Murder Mystery
Carter Page III (Woody Harrelson), an openly gay escort who caters to Washington D.C.'s society ladies, becomes involved in a murder case as a suspect.

Woody Harrelson was allegedly disappointed in his performance and therefore did not do any publicity. I can see that. While I think he did fine and the film as a whole is outstanding, the voice he uses never really seems to be spot-on with what you might expect from the character.

Unfortunately, I am not able to give this film a proper review because I have not seen "American Gigolo". This was originally designed as a sequel but ended up being its own film. I still think it would be better to review this one after comparing them.
2013-07-16
An excruciatingly slow film
This film is about a male escort getting involved in a murder investigation that happened in the circle of powerful men's wives.

I thought "The Walker" would be thrilling and engaging, but I was so wrong. The pacing is painfully and excruciatingly slow, that even after 40 minutes of the film nothing happens much. Seriously, the first hour could be condensed into ten minutes. That's how slow it is.

The fact that it lacks any thrills or action scenes aggravates the boredom. It's almost shocking that even argument scenes are so plain and devoid of emotion. Maybe it is because of the stiff upper lip of the higher social class?

It's sad that "The Walker" becomes such a boring mess, despite such a strong cast. Blame it on the poor plot and even worse pacing.
2008-04-19
Schrader Continues Isolated Man Theme
With The Walker, director Paul Schrader continues the the isolated man theme he's explored several times in the past with Taxi Driver, Hardcore, Raging Bull, American Gigolo, Light Sleeper, and even Affliction to some degree. Woody Harrelson is Carter Page, a walker for society women who must make public appearances without their spouses or with someone if they have no spouse. Harrelson has a stable of women he works with including the legendary Lauren Bacall, who is amusing indeed in a limited role, Lily Tomlin, and Kristen Scott-Thomas. Scott-Thomas is Harrelson's focal woman in the group and of Schrader's plot. She pays a visit to her lover with Harrelson in tow only to discover the lover murdered. Harrelson, of course, becomes the prime suspect. As Carter Page, he undergoes somewhat of a personality change as he is forced to shed the superficial airs he puts on for his society friends in favor of taking a more active role in the investigation that follows in order to simultaneously save his own skin and maintain his integrity with his society friends.

Schrader has always had an ear for dialog and has drawn excellent characterizations, and the characters in The Walker are no exception. Woody Harrelson is quite different as Carter Page than most audience members are used to seeing him. The cinematography by Chris Seager is rich with detail and serves as a counterpart to the artificiality of Washington politics surrounding the goings-on in the film. In tact is Schrader's isolated man against himself, others, and society as in all of the previously aforementioned films. The film tends to drag just a tad but accelerates nicely after the murder. It's not one of Schrader's best, but average Schrader is still above average when compared to other filmmakers. Ned Beatty has a key small role as a politician, and Willem Dafoe, a Schrader favorite, also has a small role. *** of 4 stars.
2010-04-25
Winner - Worst film of the century award
Woody Harrelson's acting is fantastic. However, it all stops there. No believable plot, no believable characters, a poorly crafted murder, a story line that is difficult to follow, scenes that have no ending but rather just fade to black to jump to the next. If you can stay awake to the end you deserve a free ticket to another movie. I strongly suggest you skip this movie.

We were privy to a private screening of the movie as part of the Sedona International Film Festival. During the Q&A session after the movie the director said that he could not find funding for this movie in the US. I can see why, there is no way this movie is going to make a dime in ticket sales. I pity the poor UK investors who are going to lose all the money they fronted for this movie.
2007-08-29
As Clear as Mud
Yes, this is an above average character driven film, with a fine performance by Woody Harrelson. However the plot is more than convoluted. It's as if the directors defined some interesting characters to illustrate how superficial friendship is in Washington DC and as an afterthought threw in a murder to spice up the story. The plot and the murder investigation is very secondary to the characters.

As a side interest, Eleanor Roosevelt detested all the official posturing and protocols of the Washington government crowd. The role of the spouses (and most of them are women) of the senators and congressman is to serve at social functions and gatherings. This is what this film is about.
2010-05-09
An heir of privilege is a D.C. 'walker'.
A 'walker' is a man of some substance that 'walks' women of society that need to be seen with an escort. Carter Page III(Woody Harrelson)is such a man, a homosexual man, and popular socialite who serves as companion, confidant and canasta partner to numerous wives of some of the most powerful men in America. Carter, noble but also superficial, decides to cover-up a secret for one of his dearest friends Lynn Lockner(Kristin Scott Thomas), wife of a Senator(Willem Dafoe). Skirting the brink of a scandal, Carter finds himself a major suspect in a murder investigation. The once man-about-town has society doors closed in his face. It seems this fancy and pompous pseudo gigolo is looked upon as a criminal as he searches for the true culprit in order to clear his name. The well-acted cast also features: Lauren Bacall, Lily Tomlin, Ned Beatty, Geff Francis and Mary Beth Hurt. This is Harrelson as you've never seen him before. Woody is as solid as his name.
2008-05-31
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