Total Film - 09/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] a powerhouse turn from Woody Harrelson in the title role."
Film Comment - 11/01/2007
"THE WALKER subordinates its murder mystery to the slow revelation of the protagonist's psychology and works most poignantly as a study of the fragile means by which an isolated underachiever keeps himself together."
Uncut - 02/01/2008 4 stars out of 5 -- "[Harrelson] reveals surprising new depths in this classy, intelligent thriller."
Empire - 02/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "Parallels with Schrader's body of work, notably AMERICAN GIGOLO, add appeal to a pleasing intrigue and character trajectory strewn with bon mots..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2008
"The real richness of the film lies not just in Harrelson's moving, finely judged performance but in the caustic satire at the expense of the power elite."
Director Paul Schrader (AMERICAN GIGOLO, AFFLICTION) has often described himself as making films with two characters: a man and his room. In THE WALKER, his lonely man is Carter Page III (Woody Harrelson), a charming social accessory in the Capote vein, escorting the wives of high-powered politicians to society gatherings and offering witty rejoinders at the appropriate moment. Dressed in a peacock's assortment of tailored suits, Carter attends an exclusive, trash-talking canasta game with the wilting wives of D.C. power brokers: queen bee Natalie Van Miter (Lauren Bacall), old vet Abigail Delorean (Lily Tomlin), and newcomer Lynn Lockner (Kristin Scott Thomas). It is not unimportant that Carter, the prodigal son of a famed Southern politician, is gay and living in a city controlled by a right-wing administration. Indeed, it is Washington D.C. that provides Schrader's stifling "room," a landscape where everyone has an angle, sympathies change in a heartbeat, and lives are ruined with a whisper. The film's plot is set into motion when Carter chauffeurs Lynn to a sexual rendezvous with a Washington lobbyist; she discovers him dead, perforated by stab wounds. Fearing scandal, Carter covers up for her and soon finds himself under the spotlight of an investigation. Hounded by a self-righteous, ambitious D.A., Carter begins probing the matter himself with the help of his photographer boyfriend, a decision that puts both their lives in peril.
A compelling character study disguised as a thriller, THE WALKER is anchored by Harrelson's brilliant and nuanced performance of the superficial (but exactly how superficial') Carter Page III, and the perfect casting of Bacall and Tomlin as career wives. Though eminently watchable for its twists and turns, the film's more lasting impression is its intriguing tapestry of insular, double lives.
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