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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 9 April 2017
Woody's tour de force- amazing acting! Plus look at all the famous cast apart from him.
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on 27 February 2016
Carter Page III has the hallmarks of theatrical elegance of the late 19th century; his slow and southern drawl matches his refinement in dandy attire; the seasonal costume of his life style charms the rich and bored wives of plantation slave owners: the affluent circle of women who leisurely play cards -and drink; bitch together in gossip with Carter Page: Carter Page III -unique as the gentleman and dandy of afternoon pleasure....

– I was beginning to tag along with this story, but then began to tire of his relaxed pleasure until Carter Page III stepped out of the plush building of afternoon desire, and drove off smoothly in his modern day, black limousine. This was in Washington DC; present day– the grandeur of privilege momentarily fazed my attention of closeted ladies of play....and I really thought whether this were the same film that I had been watching that I had described in past two centuries? And yet, I do remember and acknowledge now that the very word ‘Viagra’ was mentioned in the rich dialogue –that was very much the subject of vulgarity in the common use of language of the card playing ladies with the gentleman Carter of the day.....

I really thought that I was going to have a problem with Carter as the third heir -with his affectionate mannerisms – slowly and velvety drawn in casual and nonchalant approach.....but after a while, I didn’t mind at all: I was actually drawn to his character: it felt refreshing in style of contrast to modern day conversation and behaviour?

The film itself was like a Phillip Marlow investigation with a semi-camp ‘Marlow’ in purple and white cotton knuckle dusters, showing off his presence and physique. But ‘Carter’ himself was a gentleman of refinement in elegant clothes: the brass, metal jewellery, and male masculinity of ‘old leather boxing gloves’ were out of date here.

‘Marlow’ or rather Carter Page III -embroiled himself in perjury to save the grace of a lady friend from the gossip machine of the American political market of which is seen through the dry eyes and dear ears of gay Carter Page and his circle of lady friends, who incidentally, are married or associated to the most powerful and influential politicians of the day. Carter Page III is not without influence himself –or at least his generation of father and grandfather were certainly very much so remembered in that way..... Unfortunately he seems to be faulting to live up to his great name and reputation of his forefathers. His occupation is a ‘walker- who walks with rich women from place to place!’

I liked this film – it intrigued me, and is worth watching again to follow the layout of players of who’s who – there is a lot of name dropping here, but I’ve never had a good or retentive memory for this kind of stuff, and so I had to play again in sub-titles from the American accent of abstraction!

Woody Harrelson stars in the lead role, and fabulous he is, together with a super cast of supporting actors who are equal to the leading man....namely; Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Ned Beatty, and a few more -which also includes Willem Dafoe!

The film leaves me feeling pretty good - and cool! Mr Carter Page III may initially think he has fallen from grace, but He is the stand up guy in great honour to himself....his forefathers shamefully in secret took advantage of their popular position to gain great financial profit without gallantry.....The film lingers in my mind of coolness and patience of longevity of righteousness of Mr Page - and I wish I could have been there myself to grace my influence with the affluent rich?

The film is as cool as the ‘Sea Breeze’ cocktail – that in character, Woody Harrelson ordered at the bar to drink with Lauren Bacall ( - who played Natalie.... the great actress herself who is best remembered in her debut film playing alongside Humphrey Bogart! ).....and there is more that I cannot say....
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 February 2016
Woody Harrelson is excellent and dominates proceedings as gay socialite Carter Page III in Paul Schrader’s stylish and intriguing movie set amongst the political elite of contemporary Washington D.C. Although Carter Page is descended from blue-blood southern stock (his ancestors amassed a fortune from slavery and tobacco) and his respected late father was a senator, his position in Washington society is that of a ‘walker’ – a platonic unpaid escort for the rich and influential wives of the powerful, accompanying them to cultural and social functions their husbands are either unable or unwilling to attend. Harrelson’s performance is inspired as this flamboyant, elegantly suited, loquacious, superficial, toupee wearing middle aged dandy whose languid southern drawl belies a sharp incisive mind, never more evident than at the weekly canasta game with his coterie of pampered ladies – Kirstin Scott Thomas, Lily Tomlin and Lauren Bacall. His urbane affectations reminded me at times of Truman Capote with his air of cultured complacent Teflon-esque immunity which rapidly disintegrates when a good deed on behalf of one of his ladies precipitates a series of events resulting in a murder investigation and a scandal he is unable to disassociate himself from.

As the vulnerability of his position as privileged confidant and tolerated homosexual becomes more apparent Carter has to confront some inner demons in order to act in accordance with his true beliefs. This makes the film less an out-and-out political thriller and more of a character study and although the hidden world of political and corporate misconduct is deftly brought into the narrative, it somehow seems incidental to the essence of the movie which is, as I see it, an exploration of the position of the ‘outsider’ within a group and the ruthlessness of its members towards anyone who deviates from its norms and expectations. As noted by another reviewer, the pace of the narrative is deliberately pedestrian and akin to the writings of Henry James and Edith Wharton, and in the case of the latter very reminiscent of her novel The Age of Innocence where polished and cultured behaviour invariably conceals vitriolic and malicious machinations. If you accept that the movie is not a conventional ‘political thriller’ and are willing to buy into the somnambulist nature of the film you are in for a rare treat.
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on 12 August 2015
To me it is one of Schraeder's best films although one of the most unknown. It's got a good cast and the excellent performance of Woody Harrelson who shows again the stuff he's got: too long underrated, he is one of the most interesting and unique actors of the last 25 years, perfect for some weird and unpredictable roles, who he always fill with a unique mix of unpredictability, weirdness, foolishness, drama, humanity and ambiguity. Like his character, an unusual gay man of power, struggling with his secrets, identity and the hypocritica environment which is not less responsible than him for the moral and political decay of the society. It is a film that transcends genres and puts you in a context where you lose any point of reference, exactly like Woody's character..
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This literary and literate film will appeal to a very limited audience - hence its straight to video release. For those who enjoy beautifully written scripts of a Jamesean sophistication and finely toned and nuanced performances - the movie provides these qualities in abundance. I found its witty and self-conscious theatricality - and the bleakness of its sub-text - totally enthralling and could not fault any aspect. The acting, direction, design, score and extras were to me a total joy! However it's definitely not a film for everyone. Those who do not enjoy the slow moving and resonant writings of Edith Wharton, Henry James and their kith and kin - keep away - this movie is not for you. For those who do - give it a try - I suspect you will not be disappointed. Harrelson is a revelation - and the supporting cast consummate professionals - in this complex examination of both a fascinating individual's psyche and his deceptive milieu. Paul Schrader, its magisterial director, described "The Walker" as " "American Gigolo" comes out" - a perfect summary that says it all.
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on 6 September 2009
I started disliking the Woody Harrelson character intensley and then I got gripped; this is subtle rivetting stuff; what shone through for me was the integrity of the character drawn... not a feature much highlighted in modern society.
'Hush', he says, 'do you hear that? just the sound of doors closing'.
He loses everything but walks away a giant.
A stella supporting cast and an oscar deserving performance from Mr H
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on 13 April 2015
It's quietly engrossing when Woody is doing his high-status highly-witty portrayal of a gay Washingtonian safe with empty-life women including Lauren Bacall. Lily Tomlin and Kristin Scott-Thomas in this International co-production partly financed from the Isle of Man and directed by partial-outsider Paul Schrader. It has some style (not always convincingly linked to content) and some good (and one or two very bad) script moments. Leisurely and without a proper climax both of which seem to be part of the point that Watergate did nothing to change the way things are in complacent DC. Harrelson walks away with the Mario for a good performance in a mediocre film. His love-interest sub-plot is frankly tedious as is the awful Bryan Ferry on the soundtrack warbling away with his meaningful lyrics.
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"In the end, all you have is your breeding. It's all that separates `them' from `us,'" says Natalie Van Miter, rich, aging doyen of Washington high society.

"My great-grandfather got rich off slavery," says languid, gay, agreeable Carter Page III, escort for powerful women in the nation's capital, who is beginning to have second thoughts, thanks to a murder, about his life. "When the Yankees took that away, my grandfather made his money raisin' tobacco. I don't have any breeding."

"If your great-grandfather were alive today, he'd fit right in," says Natalie, with an affectionate squeeze to Carter's arm.

Car (Woody Harrelson), as his lady friends call him, always meets them for weekly Canasta games at an exclusive Washington club. They dish the gossip about everything and everyone, except about themselves. There's Natalie (Lauren Bacall), acerbic with a smile; Abigail Delorean (Lily Tomlin) the vice president's wife and no fool; and Lynn Lockner (Kristin Scott Thomas), unhappy wife of Senator Larry Lockner, the Senate's minority leader. They all adore Car, who dishes with the best of them. And Car adores them. He's a "walker," an unthreatening, well-bred man who takes wealthy women from place to place when their powerful husbands don't want to go.

Car even escorts Lynn Lockner to her secret weekly assignations with a lover, waiting in the car for her to return an hour or so later. This time, however, Lynn returns in minutes. She found her lover, a financial wheeler-dealer who had been scheduled to testify before a Senate committee, sprawled dead in the man's living room, stab wounds in his chest and, well, lower down. Car decides to protect Lynn, one of his favorite ladies, so he drives her home, returns and then calls the police and says he just found the body.

Carter Page is a man who has lived his life carefully. "I'm not naïve," he says at one point, "I'm superficial." He's never been willing to fully commit to his boyfriend. He uses soft-spoken wit to deflect anything too serious. "How come you're always so polite?" asks Lynn at one point. "It was my mother's answer to chaos and now it's mine," he tells her. He loves being a friend to his powerful, witty, sharply amusing ladies. Before long he's going to find himself the chief suspect in the murder, a target of an obnoxious prosecutor who is delighted to nail Carter with the crime. His boyfriend gets beaten up. Ruthless, political maneuvering in high places leaves him exposed to the elements. In some ways most hurtful, he realizes that his ladies, while still gracious, aren't inclined to play Canasta anymore with him. Even Lynn now is nowhere to be found. "Let me give you a piece of Washington wisdom," Natalie Van Miter tells him. "Never stand between a friend and a firing squad."

The Walker, for the first two-thirds, is a brittle, amusing satire of Washington society and the self-interest that makes it work. The last third, for me, slows down a bit because Paul Schrader, the director, begins to take his view of Washington politics too seriously. There are cracks about the current administration that are a bit old hat. The murderous intent to win at the political game turns from wit to something a little like melodrama. Still, The Walker for the most part is clever, with an unexpected performance by Woody Harrelson as the languid, gay Carter Page III, with a soft Southern accent and a wonderful wig. A couple of critics have said Harrelson was miscast. I don't think so. It just takes a few minutes to accept Harrelson, usually cast as grinning psychos or mentally deficient cowboys, as a tall, good-looking Truman Capote. Carter Page and his predicament with his ladies brings back memories of Capote thinking he was best pals with New York high society queens Babe Paley and Slim Keith, only to be cut dead by them when he dared to print the real dish. Capote proved to be both naïve and superficial (except when it came to his writing). So does Carter Page III until he starts putting the pieces together.

Lauren Bacall, Lily Tomlin and Kristin Scott Thomas are marvelous as Carter's realistic, witty, self-involved friends. They know the real dish; so does Carter; and they delight in sharing with each other. In fact, the movie has a number of first-rate actors, including Willem Dafoe, underused but effective as Lynn Lockner's ambitious husband, Moritz Bleibtreu as Carter's boyfriend and, particularly, Ned Beatty as Vice President Jack Delorean, a smiling, aging politician who is fully prepared to do whatever it takes to gain the advantage over anyone he thinks isn't American enough.

To see Kristen Scott Thomas at her coolest and most determined, watch that singular movie of entomology and incest, Angels & Insects. Lily Tomlin, in my view, is an extraordinary actor, able to combine tart, skeptical intelligence with unexpected warmth. Two of her earlier movies I like a lot are The Late Show and All of Me.
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on 12 January 2013
I already saw it 3 times. Everything is perfect. The direction is perfect. The cast is magnificent. The plot is perfect. Costumes perfect (the understate upper class). The interiors. The music. And the cat. Wach it.
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on 28 July 2013
I saw part of this film on TV, but was unable to see the end, so bought it. It was good to see Woody Harrelson playing someone so different to his usual roles. He was very very good indeed. The film is very dense though, and every word and look is significant. This is good, but have your brainy brains in when watching.
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