The Walker

Release Date: December 7, 2007
Limited release

Movie of the Day for Friday, November 30, 2007
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When it comes to class in Hollywood, Paul Schrader is of the highest tier. Not only has he penned several screenplays for Martin Scorsese (including a little film called Taxi Driver), he’s also built a respectable reputation as a director of his own scripts. Given Schrader’s track record, The Walker should be his next movie that turns some heads, just in time for awards season.

Said film is a drama starring Woody Harrelson as a gay escort to some of Washington, D.C.’s wealthiest leading ladies, whose husbands all but ignore them. Carter (Harrelson) dines with them, accompanies them to parties, and acts as a friendly ear when the wives just want to gossip about their husbands behind their backs. But one favor Carter never counted on fulfilling was taking the fall for a murder he didn’t commit.

Carter’s life is thrown upside down when his best friend Lynn (Kristin Scott Thomas) finds herself buried in incriminating evidence that could destroy her husband’s reputation and her pampered lifestyle. After Carter decides to cover for her, he’s made the prime suspect and works to track down the real murderer to clear his name.

With a premise as familiar as a whodunit murder mystery, Schrader is sure to add his own sense of style and rhythm to make the film stand out as a thoughtful character piece. After directing the underappreciated Auto Focus and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, he shows he can tell thoughtful stories that sidestep conventional formulas.

Critics will likely shower Schrader’s film with praise, but audiences will have a harder time even finding it. This is one movie coming out this holiday season that won’t be playing in 3,000 theaters, but its limited release schedule could build anticipation through word-of-mouth, allowing it to expand when Golden Globe and Oscar nominations are announced. With a talented cast that includes Harrelson, Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall and Lily Tomlin, Schrader shows he’s more interested in quality filmmaking than revenue. What a classy guy. (Matthew Huntley/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Walker
Main Cast Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily Tomlin
Supporting Cast Lauren Bacall, Willem Dafoe, Ned Beatty, Moritz Bleibtreu, Mary Beth Hurt
Director Paul Schrader
Screenwriter Paul Schrader
Distributor THINKFilm
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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