HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Walker, The The Backstabbers
Year: 2007
Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Ned Beatty, Moritz Bleibtreu, Mary Beth Hurt, Lily Tomlin, Willem Dafoe, William Hope, Geff Francis, Steven Hartley, Garrick Hagon, Michael J. Reynolds, Allen Lidkey, Stewart Alexander, Andres Williams
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Carter Page III (Woody Harrelson) is what is known in Washington circles as a "walker", that is he accompanies society ladies on their social dates, the sort of ladies who are the wives of the powerful men in government - and not necessarily in government, it has to be said. He also enjoys keeping a regular time each week for canasta with some of those wives where they can exchange stories, but so far he has felt immune from such tale-tellers, in spite of being gay when his influential political family could not tolerate such a thing in their circle. But that is not what spells his downfall...

The Walker was writer and director Paul Schrader's return to the territory he had mined with works like American Gigolo and Light Sleeper - just watch out for the Robert Bresson visual reference they shared, here placed two thirds of the way through rather than at the end. If this came across as somewhat old hat for those who had already seen those previous efforts, as apparently, if you were being unkind, Schrader had run out of ideas and was forced to go over old ground then it was not as if he was the only moviemaker to return to the same themes over the course of his career - it was simply that he was making no secret of the fact.

Harrelson reportedly hated his performance here, and it's true this saw the star at his most mannered, but such is the near-alien quality to his interpretation in these surroundings that he commanded attention; whether that was down to acting which was misjudged or was ideal for the role was very much up for debate. There was always the danger that he would lapse into parody, but in truth there was such control in the character, a man who needs to have everything just so and manages to design his surroundings accordingly, that Harrelson's obvious concentration on getting it right, whatever he thought, meant he pulled off what could have been rather tricky.

Helping was a cast of rather more mature stars than would be the norm for a Hollywood movie: the youngest the main players got was Moritz Bleibtreu's Emek, Carter's lover who begins his own investigation when his sort-of boyfriend looks to be framed for a murder he did not commit. What happens is Carter is escorting senator's wife Lynn Lockner (Kristin Scott Thomas) to meet her lover at his home, but soon after she enters the house she rushes out in a panic and tells him that the lover has been murdered. She needs an alibi, and Carter out of some sense of duty offers her one, which leads to him being a suspect when he claims to have found the body and called the police.

Soon he discovers that it's all very well chatting and gossiping to pass the time with his friends, but when he is at the centre of the gossip it's not quite so much fun. This is where he really finds out who his friends are, as it becomes clear he was merely entertainment to those ladies, and they will keep him at arm's length when the stakes are too high for them to engage with. That includes Lynn, who is only too pleased to allow Carter to take the fall, and before you know it what has been a novelistic, almost twee look at the moneyed Washington community turns sinister in a cynical (but still sympathetic to its lead) examination of the lengths those in power will go towards keeping that influence. Unashamedly complex to a point, Schrader's film may have been a variation on a theme he was perhaps too fond of, but The Walker was a valid enough work in its own right to justify returning to this well, with its sheen of sophistication masking corruption and lies. Music by Anne Dudley.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2302 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Paul Schrader  (1946 - )

American writer and director, a former critic, who specialises in troubled souls. After writing Taxi Driver for Martin Scorcese (who has also filmed Schrader's Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead) he made his directorial debut with Blue Collar. Although this was not a happy experience, he was not discouraged, and went on to give us Hardcore, American Gigolo, a remake of Cat People, Mishima, The Comfort of Strangers, Light Sleeper, Affliction, Auto Focus and a doomed Exorcist sequel. After the latter his output became troubled in films like The Canyons or Dying of the Light, but First Reformed won him his best reactions in years. He also scripted The Yakuza and Old Boyfriends with his brother Leonard Schrader.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: