Like most folks who enjoy the art of screenwriting, I'm a pretty big Paul Schrader fan. So when I heard that the writer / director's latest film would be playing at the Toronto Film Festival, I drew a big, red circle around the title. "You know what it's about, don't you?" a friend of mine asked me, to which I responded "Kinda. Woody Harrelson plays a gay D.C. socialite who covers up a murder and lives to regret it, or something like that." OK, good point: Doesn't exactly sound like my cup of tea, plot-wise -- but hey, it's Paul Schrader.

I just figure after Taxi Driver, American Gigolo, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and the highly-underrated Light Sleeper, Mr. Schrader has earned the benefit of the doubt. And yes, that's taking into account his lastfewscreenplays. But it turns out my friend was right: The Walker is about a gay rich guy who lives off his family's money and acts as a friend / companion / alibi to many of Washington D.C.'s most important housewives. Carter Page plays canasta with swanky gals played by Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily Tomlin and Lauren Bacall -- and they all seem to love their amusingly non-threatening companion. But when one of the ladies' lovers ends up dead, Carter starts lying to the police to protect his "friends" and quickly discovers his true place in the beltway hierarchy.