ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2020 – A – The Assistant (2019) Movie Review

Director: Kitty Green

Writer: Kitty Green (Screenplay)

Starring: Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Jon Orsini, Noah Robins, Dagmara Dominczyk, Clara Wong

Plot: A searing look at a day in the life of an assistant to a powerful executive. As Jane follows her daily routine, she grows increasingly aware of the insidious abuse that threatens every aspect of her position.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Assistant starts as we meet Jane (Garner) who has been working as an assistant for a powerful movie executive, she is first in and last out of the office everyday, not having a life outside of this job, because this position would be a gateway into the future she wants.

When Janes starts noticing an increased number of women being put in hotels or items being left in the office, she starts to see the jokes from the office becoming more threatening, believing she is part of a bigger cover up.

Thoughts on The Assistant

Characters – Jane is the assistant, she starts work for a powerful movie executive, which sees her giving up nearly every waking hour of her day. We follow one day in her life, which sees her cleaning up after him, suffering with abuse down the phone, dealing with problems out of her control and seeing women being lined up for the executive, she hasn’t made any friends within the office and is very isolated from her own life. The whole film circles around just one day of the near 2-month experience working under this man. We do meet other assistants that have got to a stage of blanking out most of the stuff which happens, other executives that know the nature of the boss, but none give Jane the friendship she needs in a working environment.

PerformancesJulia Garner is brilliant in this leading role, we can see how she wants to make her character explode, but must keep everything inside if she wants the future she desires, it is a performance which will turn heads and show the struggles of an everyday job, which is filled with pressure.

StoryThe story here follows the day in the life of an assistant working under a powerful movie executive and the added pressure of knowing this role could help their future. This shows the pressure put on someone who clearly is just trying to make ends meet, while chasing a dream, the abuse they might suffer, without needing to be put in this position and the uncertainty of what might be happening behind the closed doors of the executives office. Where this story does shine is by not showing us what is happening, we are as in the dark as Jane is, which lets our own imagination show the worst of what could be happening.

SettingsThe film keeps nearly everything within the one office where Jane works, it does make everything feel very cold through the movie, helping highlight the isolation Jane is experiencing.

Scene of the Movie – The helpless HR meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is a movie that puts the firm highlight on how certain Hollywood executives acted with their believed position of power, with someone watching in, aware, but helpless to do anything about it.

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