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The Assistant

Kitty Green

Kitty Green’s follow-up to her acclaimed Casting JonBenet is an intense and quietly devastating portrayal of oppression in the workplace. The film business isn’t so glamorous when you’re on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder: that’s the despairing lesson learned by the title character in The Assistant.

“challenges expectations and preconceptions.”

Jane (Julia Garner) is a junior assistant to a prominent entertainment executive, a man whose face we never get to see, though whose character is clearly inspired by Harvey Weinstein. There is nothing glamorous or rewarding about her job, yet she’s often reminded that any young aspiring film producer would kill to take her place. Over the course of 24 hours we watch as Garner’s superbly understated Jane faces a multitude of degradations and hostilities (from both men and women), which she continues to bear stoically. She quietly goes about her mundane tasks with an attitude of someone who is used to this type of treatment. Just when we think that nothing can be done about her growing discomfort in this land of self-importance, Jane takes action – and what follows is a fascinating depiction of the mechanics that lead to abuse of power.

Just like Green's previous film, The Assistant is inspired by potentially scandalous material, but her approach is one that challenges expectations and preconceptions.