- The Assistant review by JH
If your idea of an interesting movie is to watch a sad young girl photocopy in an office over a single long working day, then this is the movie for you! Otherwise I would suggest that you find something else to do during the screening of this movie, read a good book perhaps or some DIY?
8 out of 12 members found this review helpful.
One DRAB movie!!
- The Assistant review by S.S
One of the most drabbest, boringest movies i have ever encountered, there is no story line what so ever, it drags on and ends abruptly and you think to yourself is that it? I thoroughly hated it every minute of it, it was a waste of my time. I can't believe people have given it a misleading 3 stars, it's not worthy of a half star even to be frank! It drags on, and it claims to be a thriller, what part was that then? That's lies, it's no thriller, it's one drab, boring waste of your time movie lol ... Worthy of half a star if that! ... Yawn!!
7 out of 12 members found this review helpful.
Intelligent and sophisticated presentation of an ongoing cultural evil
- The Assistant review by PD
This very subtle but extremely powerful film shows us a day in the life of Jane, a young graduate who has started working at a film production company with the goal of ultimately becoming a producer. The film starts as it means to go on, with Jane walking into the office first thing in the morning, director Kitty Green spending the first 20 minutes showing Jane's many mundane duties (taking calls, booking cars, cleaning floors, stacking bottles, washing dishes etc) in real time. But for whom is she doing all this? All we get is an important “he” who everyone knows, everyone wants to impress and everyone talks about - the fact that we don’t get his name or his face is a clever touch.
There's not much in the way of 'plot' which might frustrate many (and clearly has some press reviewers!), but the film is strongest in its silences, entirely in control of a subtext that screams without making a sound; it's clearly inspired by stories of Harvey Weinstein’s years of criminal behaviour with women in the film industry, but there's little direct reference to this, or in fact to any names that might seem too familiar other than a film festival (Cannes) or a crime scene (Beverly Hills’ Peninsula hotel). This approach works brilliantly, as it treats the viewer as intelligent enough to read between the lines and shout back at the screen with every micro-aggression thrown at Julia, even when she won’t let herself say anything. The most compelling scene sees her come close to breaking, as she sits across the desk of HR manager Wilcock, whose low-key but terrifying dismissal of Jane's complaints are compounded by his attempt to turn the tables on her and make her seem like the one in the wrong. Back in the office, meanwhile, her co-workers treat it all as a joke - the complicity of everyone in the company being obviously one of the main issues the film explicitly criticises.
Julia Garner is wonderful in the role, her facial expressions always speak volumes; her eyes seeming to remain dry through arduous effort. She makes it easy for us to draw parallels with so many real-life stories of distrusted women staying silent in unfair situations for too long. Without cliche, without melodrama, the film portrays an ongoing cultural evil with intelligence and some sophistication.
6 out of 14 members found this review helpful.
A minimalist depiction of the horrors of office life
- The Assistant review by PJ
The movie takes place over the course of one day in Jane's life: she is a junior assistant who has recently started working at a film production company in New York City. Julia Garner is excellent in the restrained way that she plays the part: her raw emotions can be read easily, even though she struggles to curb them. She works long hours and is, in effect, the PA to the CEO, who is a barking, foul-mouthed bully. The film, no doubt, is inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
It is a short film by today's standards (1 hr 30 mins). It is also a minimalist depiction of office life as it can be. It is so realistic that it feels almost like a documentary, which is scary, on reflection... The scene in the office of the HR manager is, in my view, the climax of the movie, and is excellent. The rest, somehow, is a bit dull and repetitive, simply because office life -- for a junior assistant performing clerical tasks, which is what Jane is at the start of her career -- is never going to be exciting. The storyline is surprisingly linear.
It is a good film because it expresses a lot of deep emotions, while referring to profoundly uncomfortable realities in the world of work: shocking realities that can become routine and totally normalized. But the movie is so realistic that it is a bit flat. I would still recommend it.
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.