March 30, 2023

Film Review – The Assistant (2019)


Easily one of the best movies of the year so far due to an uncompromising subject through articulate screenplay and scorching lead performance from kinetic Julia Garner (Grandma, Ozark) a fresh young talent entrenched in a role that builds momentum in a purposely slow, unforgettable drama.

Directed by Kitty Green with justification, she provides a masterclass in subtlety rolling through just how powerless individuals can be when confronted by constant bullying or unfair work treatment.

Thankfully in a time of #MeToo #TimesUp insidious acts are being exposed in real life, it was only a matter of time when stories filter through into movies such as this.

Related: EXCLUSIVE: Kitty Green On The Assistant And The Systematic Problems Of Power

Jane (Garner) is a talented, meek assistant to a successful film producer, we follow her over the course of one day as she efficiently goes about her business while often passively aggressively bullied by certain colleagues.

Somewhat new to her position she notices a continuous trend of abusive tendencies around the office, particularly a revolving behind closed doors policy for young actresses.

Moving at a leisurely pace the story builds to a riveting crescendo when you least expect it, Jane decides to speak up to make an official complaint.

Her unfiltered fellow male assistants are part of the problem pestering her to order them the correct lunch to throwing scrunched up paper at her to gain attention. Scenes like this made me uncomfortable as a viewer.

Acting is supreme, must see highly effective independent filmmaking from director Kitty Green.


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Drama | USA, 2019 | 15 | Digital Download (Now) DVD | 20th July 2020 (UK) | Vertigo Releasing | Dir: Kitty Green | Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Makenzie Leigh,Kristine Froseth, Jon Orsini