With a career resurgence thanks to First Reformed, Paul Schrader decided to form a trilogy (and perhaps beyond) of like-minded character studies. His third outing of the series, Master Gardener, premiered on the fall festival circuit last year and will now head into theaters at the start of the summer from Magnolia Pictures. Ahead of the release, the first trailer has now arrived for the film starring Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, and Quintessa Swindell
Edgerton stars as Narvel Roth, the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens. He is as much devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate, to pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill (Weaver). When Mrs. Haverhill demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya (Swindell) as a new apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that threaten them all.
Rory O’Connor said in his review, “There is a paradox at the heart of Master Gardener. In their respective worlds—one of abstinence and iconography; the other of money and risk—priests and gamblers are kind of sexy. In their own ways, so are gigolos, drug dealers, porn stars, sex addicts, even taxi drivers. Gardeners? For all their charms, maybe less so. The latest from Paul Schrader rounds out an idiosyncratic trilogy: without breaking the mould, and for three films in a row, the director has placed his man-in-a-room archetype into the fraught, divided milieu of contemporary America. With First Reformed and Card Counter, Schrader could bank on audiences already being attuned to the quasi-culty vibes of his characters’ extreme callings. Master Gardener, the story of a diligent horticulturist, has a bit more heavy lifting to do; but there’s fun to be had in the labor.”
See the trailer below.
Master Gardener opens on May 19.