"The Walker" **

Writer/director Paul Schrader's tackles Washington DC intrigue with this mess of a story involving a gay Southern gentleman (Woody Harrelson?!) whose main task in life is to occupy the time of wives of well-to-to political bigwigs while they themselves are doing the business of whatever they do in that perpetual lurid town. Add to this strange mix a murder, and Woody's desire to help cover up for one of his ladies (Kristin Scott Thomas)-a desire which ends up implicating him as the prime suspect. What could have been a success in the hands of a Hitchcock, turns into a lame attempt at mystery by the usually interesting Schrader. Nice turns by the distinguished case including Lauren Bacall, Ned Beatty, Lily Tomlin, and William Defoe, however, fail to save the lame script and premise.

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