Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

05 July 2008

The Walker, dir. Paul Schrader (2007)

NIKKI says:
"Hell, I even thought that the people elected the president." So says Carter Page III, son of a popular political figure who now "walks" rich wives from place to place, including a regular canasta game. He's well-bred and runs in all the right circles, but he's aware of the truthlessness of Washington, DC, and the games played to get the movers and shakers what they want.

So, Carter is tested when he becomes involved in a cover-up. He chooses to lie to help a friend escape scandal. Kristin Scott Thomas finds a friend dead in his apartment, and to avoid the political fall-out from embroilment in such an event, Carter decides to tell the authorities that he found the body thus becoming a suspect in the murder itself.

Carter must use his ingenuity, influence, and intelligence to solve the crime and get himself out of deep water. The film has him do that very slowly, with very little intrigue. I just didn't find myself caring all that much about these rich folks in peril. And anyone who doesn't guess that the wives are not all on the level would be horribly naive. It's not new to tell me, either, that Washington is corrupt and sexist. It's not particularly enthralling to watch the ultra-rich complaining about the very thing that gives them their power. I understand, for the most part, what Paul Schrader was doing with the Page character as the centrepiece here, but I found the film too slow to really get into it.

It is a lazy portrait of wall furnishings, more than it is a charged story about people and environment. Woody Harrelson, however, is brilliant, and evermore proves himself one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood.


STEVE says:
I'm watching this, and I get this weird deja vu thing going on. I know I haven't seen it before, but there's a feeling I can't shake, a feeling like I'm treading very familiar water.

And then it hits me. I'ts American Gigolo. Here's the synopsis from the back of the DVD:

"Julian Kay is on the prowl and looking for someone to please. Boyish and sensual, he speaks five or six languages, and is equally comfortable as a chauffeur for a wealthy middle-aged matron, and as a translator/companion for the lonely wife of an executive. He is the American Gigolo. But Julian's love-for-sale lifestyle turns deadly when a client is murdered and Julian becomes the prime suspect."

Now here's the synopsis for The Walker:

"Set in Washington, D.C., The Walker follows Carter Page, a popular socialite who serves as confident companion and card partner on the brink of a scandal, he covers for her. Suddenly, he finds himself the chief suspect in a criminal investigation, and this well-connected man-about-town becomes an outcast, hounded by the police and forced to hunt down the true culprit in order to clear his name."

I know it's all part of the Candide archetype, with some Achilles and Circe thrown in, and it probably wouldn't have struck me if Paul Schrader hadn't written and directed them both.

I'm left wondering if I'd have enjoyed The Walker more if that had been the case.