Review: The Assistant

Did I do the right thing?

Jane (Julia Garner) is working as an assistant to a high powered producer in New York City. We follow her on a single day at work, getting there early, setting everything up, being treated coldly by the male assistants in the office. When she's tasked with training a new assistant, Ruby (Makenzie Leigh) and her first duty is taking her to a hotel room. Jane becomes acutely aware of how differently she's being treated over all.

Julia Garner has been an actress I've enjoyed for a while. I'm glad she's finally getting more recognition due to Ozark but she's been giving solid performances in films long before that. This might be one of my favorites from her. It's very understated but so believable. 

It would be remiss of me not to admit that this movie gets off to a very mundane start, but I liked how we followed Jane through her routine. Knowing what this film is about, I enjoyed watching her have the office to herself for a while knowing a bunch of dudes were going to come in and ruin her day. We never see her Harvey Weinstein-like boss. But we hear bits of him cursing her out on the phone. The dread he leaves around the office is enough and you feel for her as she types up an apology email while her male co-workers loom over her.

One of the strongest scenes, and also one of the most frustrating in the entire film is when Jane takes her thoughts to her HR rep (Matthew Macfadyen) It's heartbreaking and infuriating to watch knowing how often this sort of conversation happens. 

Clocking in at under 90 minutes, this is a short but very effective film with a great lead performance by Julia Garner. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Don't worry, you're not his type." - Wilcock (Matthew Macfadyen)


Comments

  1. I really loved this movie. For me it dealt with its issues in the most realistic, unvarnished way. So many details that I loved including never showing her boss (as you mentioned). It keeps us from putting one particular face to the man. Instead we can put our own face on him. And that sit-down with the HR rep...wow. Infuriating. And the exchange is sooo well written.

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  2. I do want to see this film as I've heard so many good things about this as well as Julia Garner's performance.

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  3. I got this movie completely mixed up with The Accountant - doh! This sounds well worth a watch though.

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    Replies
    1. lol The Accountant isn't bad either! But I like this one better.

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  4. I really need to watch this soon! I was watching a Zoom thing w/ Amma Asante w/ Film Independent and she actually recommended this film.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear others are talking about it too. You should definitely watch.

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