Film review: Master Gardener

Auteurs are defined as filmmakers whose ‘individual style and complete control over all elements of production give a film its personal and unique stamp’. Paul Schrader’s films have always dealt in redemption and masculinity but in recent years, he has almost developed his recurring themes into a genre of their own. The final instalment of his thematically linked contemporary trilogy, following on from 2017’s First Reformed and 2021’s The Card Counter, is psychological indie thriller Master Gardener. The story centres around Narvel Roth (Joel Edgerton), a horticulturist who works for wealthy widow Mrs Haverhill (Sigourney Weaver) by tending to her picture-esque Louisiana estate. When her troubled great-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell) comes to stay and becomes Narvel’s apprentice, he is forced to reckon with his own dark, dangerous past.

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