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Walker, The (DQ)


Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Moritz Bleibtreu, Mary Beth Hurt

Director: Paul Schrader

This is recognisably one of director Schrader's doomy urban dramas, with a flawed hero and a network of corruption.

Harrelson is somewhat less than comfortable in the title role, as Carter, a gay escort who takes dowagers and bored wives to the opera. A particular friend is senator's wife Lynn (Scott Thomas) whom, in his youth and a mad moment, as she reminds him, Carter had once asked out. He smiles: 'The Seventies were a confusing decade.' When Lynn discovers her lover murdered, Carter decides to say that he came on the body first - and soon finds himself the prime suspect.

Despite a fascinating name cast that also includes Bacall, Willem Dafoe, Ned Beatty and Lily Tomlin, the film doesn't quite achieve enough, not hitting the mark either as an in-depth character study or a whodunit.

Schrader seems to want to concentrate on the former, but Harrelson's performance, much like his character, is stiff and reserved, while such details as the plot possesses remain unfathomable. Elegant, though, and borderline interesting for fans of the director.

David Quinlan

USA/UK 2006. UK Distributor: Pathe. Colour by de Luxe.
108 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 05 Aug 2007