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Master Gardener

The titles to this were so colourful that I thought “*phew* dodged the desaturated colour grading on this one”, but nope.

Paul Schrader… that name seems really, really familiar, but I can’t quite place it.

Oh, right, he directed (and/or wrote) a whole bunch of movies back in the late 70s/early 80s that seemed to be very much part of the zeitgeist back then: He wrote Taxi Driver and directed Hardcore (with George C Scott), and American Gigolo (which I guess made Richard Gere a thing), and er Cat People and Mishima…

So I think I’ve seen all his movies until the mid 80s, and after that, I’ve seen zilch. Eyeballing them, it seems like most of them weren’t well received. Like:


This first five minutes of this movie are risible — Joel Edgerton (a very philosophical gardener) spouts deep-sounding but deeply moronic lines while the camera portentously follows him.

Oh, yeah, this is why I bought this movie.

Oh, yeah, Schrader is a total moron:

In 2022, Schrader criticized that year’s Sight and Sound Greatest Films poll, describing it as a “politically correct rejiggering”, with its selection of Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles as the greatest film of all time being the product of “distorted woke reappraisal”.

It seems really weird to go this grey in a film about plants and stuff. Perhaps they’re gonna go all Wizard of Oz when summer comes? I doubt it, though — this is just what all movies look like now.

Very ambiguous tattoos, Travis.

That’s some wallpaper.

Very cosy dinner party.

Oh, the gardener is boinking both his boss and her grand niece? Very Schrader I’m sure.

OK, so he takes off his shirt, revealing the tats, because he’s… writing… Writing is sweaty work.

See, by having sex with a Black woman, he’s absolved from his Nazi tattoos (and she’s making him remove them). He’s a fixer upper.

After having sex with the grand niece, the road somehow becomes CGI.

Nooo! They hurt the annuals! Vandals! *shakes fist*

This is barely a movie at all. Everything about it is risible. Well, except Sigourney Weaver’s brief performance (I’m guessing she was on set one single day).

Master Gardener. Paul Schrader. 2022.

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