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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tales of men, woman open at the Lantern

Dan Webster

Above: Joel Edgerton and Quintessa Swindell star in "Master Gardener." (Photo/Magnolia Pictures)

One thing you can depend on when it comes to the Magic Lantern Theatre is that the place screens movies worth thinking about.

Case in point: not just the several films that are already playing there but also the two films that are scheduled to open on Friday.

One, “Master Gardener,” takes us into the world of a tortured man, while the other, “Monica,” delves into the life of a woman confronting the ghosts of her past.

“Master Gardener”: Writer-director Paul Schrader returns with what is intended to be the third in a trilogy that included “The Card Counter” and “First Reformed.” Joel Edgerton stars as a guy with a shady and violent past who works as a gardener for a rich woman (Sigourney Weaver). Both of their lives get disrupted when the woman’s mixed-race grandniece (Quintessa Swindell) comes around.

Tomris Laffly of The Wrap wrote that the film is “ripe with seeds of ideas on the verge of blossoming into something beguiling, maybe even generously healing. What a way for Schrader to close the loop on his long line of tortured men.”

“Monica”: Trace Lysette stars as the titular character, a woman who has returned home to care for her dying mother. Directed and co-written by Andres Pallaoro.

Tracy Brown of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “ ‘Monica’ is an intimate look at the complexity of grief, reconciliation and family.”

More to come. Stay tuned.

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