MASTER GARDENER is the latest from Paul Schrader, who I consider to be on a late career roll between FIRST REFORMED and THE CARD COUNTER. This one is thematically related to those, and Schrader has called the three of them his unintentional “Lonely Man Trilogy,” but the template goes all the way back to TAXI DRIVER and has been loosely repeated over and over again throughout his filmography. Which is one of the things I love about him.
This time the journal-writing weirdo narrator is Narvel Roth (Joel Edgerton, JANE GOT A GUN), the fastidious horticulturalist in charge of Gracewood Gardens, an estate in Louisiana (filmed at a former plantation). He’s very loyal to his aging heiress boss, Norma Haverhill (Sigourney Weaver, ABDUCTION) – including having sex with her on demand – so he does as she says when she instructs him to take on her troubled grand-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell, BLACK ADAM) as an apprentice. (read the rest of this shit…)