the assistant

★★★★

DIRECTOR: kitty green (casting jonbenet)
STARRING: julia garner, matthew mcfadyen, makenzie leigh and kristne forseth

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

Julia Garner (TV's Ozark) is the assistant to a powerful corporate executive in this indie drama from award-winning filmmaker Kitty Green (Casting JonBenet).

The Assistant may be pallid and muted, but don't be mistaken, this movie is searing in its silence and painful in each and every pale scene.

 

Directed by Kitty Green, The Assistant spans one work day for Jane (Julia Gardner) - the assistant for a movie-making mogul. Just one day of taking phone calls, wiping desks and handing out itineraries. But it's also one day of discovering a lone earring, escorting a new assistant to a hotel, fielding phone calls from a suspicious wife and writing apologetic emails after another verbal scolding. It's #MeToo in one movie.

 

Jane (Gardner) is a college student with dreams of becoming a producer. It's just a vile shame that the ladder to get there is riddled with looking the other way. She's quiet, tormented and torn with what she witnesses all day, to the point that she reaches out. With each tearful look it's like you're watching her very soul shrink inside of her. But is this simply what it takes to make it? Her parents are proud, her coworkers know the drill, but we all know now that it takes far more than just one to cover up something that runs so deeply.

 

Kitty Green fills every wordless scene with story and every background noise with clues. And Julia Gardner points us towards the abuse and degradation that fills her character's every day. While quiet and unassuming, The Assistant is a painfully confronting film that you'll be thinking about long after those slow and sombre notes of a cello stop with the credits.

 

Does a dream have to come with such heavy downfalls? And does doing what's right really dash a dream? 

 

The Assistant helps you see the knots in the entertainment industry, and really puts a forlorn face on the victims of it. A truly sad and compelling watch.

★★★★

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