Discover the enchanting universe of "Master Gardener" and let yourself be transported by Paul Schrader's new film. The renowned director surprises us once again with a captivating movie featuring a stellar cast composed of Joel Edgerton, non-binary actress Quintessa Swindell, and Sigourney Weaver. "Master Gardener" invites you to explore an extraordinary garden overflowing with mysteries and unsuspected beauties.
"Master Gardener" follows the story of Narvel Roth (Joel Edgerton), a passionate and meticulous horticulturist who has crafted an idyllic sanctuary at Gracewood Gardens and who is as much devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate as to pandering to his employer, Mrs. Haverhill, a wealthy matriarch played by Sigourney Weaver. When Mrs. Haverhill asks him to take in his troubled great-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell) as an apprentice, Narvel's fragile life balance crumbles. Gradually, flashbacks uncover Narvel's buried violent past, unlocking dark secrets from his time as an enforcer for a white supremacist gang. The violence he had managed to bury deep within himself threatens to resurface, creating an atmosphere that is both intense and disturbing, while unlikely friendship blossoms between him and Maya.
For over five thrilling decades, Academy Award nominee Paul Schrader has been an essential and audacious figure in the film industry. He emerged as a true tour de force. An iconic collaborator of Martin Scorsese, his talents as a writer have given rise to poignant and incredible scripts such as "Taxi Driver," "The Last Temptation of Christ," or "Bringing Out the Dead," which have left an indelible mark on cinema history.
In addition to his writing prowess, Schrader has also revealed himself to be a talented and appreciated director, showcasing masterful works like "Hardcore," "American Gigolo," "Affliction," "First Reformed," ... - which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay - as well as "Blue Collar," "Mishima," and "Auto Focus."Each of these films bears witness to Schrader's immense talent and creativity, which continues to inspire and captivate cinephiles around the world.
"Master Gardener" once again illustrates Schrader's undeniable talent, and this artistic prowess is further elevated in his latest project. But this new production is also the result of close collaboration with renowned producers such as Amanda Crittenden (The Leftovers), David Gonzales, and Scott LaStaiti (Jane Got a Gun). The visual aspect of the film is sublimated by Alexander Dyna's photography (First Reformed), while the original soundtrack is signed by Devonte Hynes (Queen & Slim). Finally, the meticulous editing of Benjamin Rodriguez Jr. (The Card Counter) perfects this promising work.
Australian actor Joel Edgerton portrays Narvel Roth brilliantly. Edgerton has distinguished himself through remarkable performances in films such as "Boy Erased," "The Great Gatsby," as well as directing the psychological thriller "The Gift," in which he also plays.
Alongside him, legendary actress Sigourney Weaver plays Mrs. Haverhill. Since her iconic role as Ripley in "Alien," Weaver has conquered Hollywood with memorable appearances in hits such as "Call Jane," or "Avatar," and Oscar nominations for "Aliens," "Gorillas In The Mist," and "Working Girl."
It's not just veterans who make "Master Gardener" great. Talented non-binary actor Quintessa Swindell embodies Maya effortlessly. Swindell is famous for their roles in "Trinkets," "In Treatment," and "Black Adam."
Added to the diversity of the cast is also Esai Morales, who plays Neruda. Known for his performances in "Ozark," "Bad Boys," and the TV series "NYPD Blue," Morales brings depth to the character of Neruda.
The highly anticipated trailer for "Master Gardener" plunges you into an intense and unsettling universe. The film opens with Narvel sharing his intimate thoughts in his journal. He describes the strange sensation caused by the smell of a Nandina plant, comparable to the shiver preceding the moment of pulling the trigger.
"Master Gardener" charmed audiences during its world premiere on September 3, 2022, at the 79th Venice International Film Festival. This captivating cinematic work was released in theaters across the United States and Canada on May 19, 2023. It is scheduled for international release in various countries throughout the year.
"Master Gardener" completes an unplanned trilogy of films alongside the Oscar-nominated "First Reformed" (2017) and "The Card Counter" (2021). Though not initially conceived as a trilogy, Paul Schrader masterfully delves into themes of loneliness, all-consuming callings, and existential crises once again with a protagonist faced with ghosts from a dark past threatening to dismantle his carefully crafted present.