The Assistant, online, 23 July–31 August 2020, from £3.49 - Book now
Kitty Green’s The Assistant has been one of the most talked about films released during lockdown. A potent look at the film industry norms that led to Harvey Weinstein and the Me Too movement, the film gains a cumulative power thanks to its low-key, minimalist approach. Green’s film consists of a day in the working life of Julia Garner’s (Ozark) Jane, an assistant to a faceless fictional movie executive, as she endures a series of disrespects, humiliations and microaggressions.
There’s a startling flatness to proceedings that emphasises the uncomfortable everyday nature of Jane’s job. She’s asked to lie to her boss’s wife, return an earring to his mistress, and watch silently as he hires a young waitress as a new assistant only to put her up in a fancy hotel — to which he promptly disappears. The notable high point comes as Jane plucks up the courage to meet with Matthew Macfadyen’s dismissive HR executive, who promptly explains how many people are desperate for her job.
The Assistant, online