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Walker, The
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by Jason Whyte

"Strange in only the way Paul Schrader could be."
4 stars

Wow, what a strange little movie. This thought came to my head mere minutes after watching Paul Schrader (“Affliction”, writer of “Taxi Driver”)’s movie, and I found it personally strange as it was the first movie that I saw after screening my DVD of David Lynch’s “Inland Empire”. So, the movie is strange, you see.

Strange because the film is stuck in some kind of time warp. Its setting is Washington, DC, yet this UK funded production did most of its shooting in its home country of England with minor shooting in the US Capitol. The story looks and feels like it is set in the 1950’s, yet the cellphones and UPS stores make the setting modern. And its main star is Woody Harrelson, playing a openly gay member of the Virginian gentry whose accent seems straight out of Louisiana. Keeping in mind that this is the same man we saw a few years ago riding a hemp bus in the documentary “Go Further”.

Harrelson’s Carter Page III has two jobs; one is a one-day-a-week job in real estate. I guess it’s some form of cover for his other life, to chaperone and escort around wives of rich men who are never around (that’s the meaning of the film’s title; that he “walks” everyone around). Carter seems attached a little too closely to Lynn, who herself is having a once-a-week tryst with a lobbyist named Robbie (Steven Hartley).

Carter, the friend that he is, will even accompany her to these visits and keep an eye on things. When he turns up stabbed to death, however, it sets off a series of events where Carter becomes a prime suspect and things start to become known about the political aspects of the people around him.

Things get even more strange with Carter’s lover (Moritz Bibliteru, forever famous as Manni from “Run Lola Run”) gets into the mix. He’s a celebrity photographer who comes into the case and becomes strangely involved with the proceedings.

Yes, this film seems set in a bizarre world where money matters the most and it gives you the most power, yet I was never bored while watching “The Walker”. I think the biggest savior of the film is Woody Harrelson, who disappears into the role of Carter. You can tell that he is having a lot of fun with this part and makes the film worth watching.

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originally posted: 02/13/08 03:10:56
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Toronto International Film Festival For more in the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Chicago International Film Festival For more in the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival series, click here.

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  07-Dec-2007 (R)
  DVD: 22-Apr-2008



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