Scandal can be so delicious, until it’s served on your plate. ‘The Walker’ comes to DVD.
With a fantastic supporting cast (Lauren Bacall, OutSmart cover girl Lily Tomlin, Kristin Scott Thomas, Willem Dafoe, and more), Woody Harrelson takes the lead role as Carter Page III, a Tennessee Williams-styled Southern homosexual living in the shadow of his father, a man who played a significant role in uncovering the Watergate scandal. A Washington, DC, socialite, Page’s only foray into politics is his role as confidant, card partner, and platonic escort to the wives of some of the most powerful men in the country.
He leads a fastidious life, everything in its place, whether it’s his expensive toupee or the people in his life. He keeps his relationship with his lover to himself, though he is open about his sexuality, to the amusement of his jet-setting canasta partners. He puts off finding a gallery for his lover, a fine-art photographer who makes his living as a paparazzo.
When Page drops his close friend (Scott Thomas) off for a rendezvous, the friend finds her lover murdered. Protecting her from scandal, Page comes to her aid. Instantly, he becomes the chief suspect in a very serious criminal investigation. Frustrated, he chides his boyfriend for being part of a system that could easily discredit him forever. Even though his many connections begin to deteriorate in no time at all, Page maintains his cool, spouting off clever Southern-sounding witticisms throughout. He, with his partner’s help, must take it upon himself to clear his own name, and save himself from the humiliating transition of socialite to outcast.
Ironically, his paparazzo papi’s very trade helps to save the day. As the real murderer flees the two, the boyfriend, with a small digital camera, snaps shots of him as they chase after him. The flash is enough to blind him, preventing him from seeing a car just before it collides with him. Oh, paparazzi, we hate that we love you.
Harrelson plays a flamboyant homosexual without the expected flamboyant affectations. Moreover, he shows us a strong individual who astutely conceals his vulnerabilities. There are few moments when his weakness surfaces, but when they do, we see someone as human and afraid as the rest of us. Tomlin does a fantastic job as a friend who seems unconditional at first, but merely fair-weathered and, in the end, just as political with her relationships as the city in which the film is set.
2007. Written and directed by Paul Schrader. From THINKFilm (www.ThinkFilmCompany.com).
Photo caption: Walk like a man. Woody Harrelson as Carter Page III is the gay escort of characters played by Lauren Bacall, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Lily Tomlin in The Walker.