Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her (mis)adventures with the other "corporate orphans", Margaret, Paula and Jane. Led by Margaret, they find subtle ways to lessen the ennui of corporate oppression. The tension escalates when the new permanent hire, Cleo, enters the picture.Written by
Vanessa Exum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Is this movie slow? Occasionally boring? Kind of depressing? Yes. Unfortunately, that is the reality of working as a temp in an office! Take it from one who's been there. I spent several years temping on breaks from college in the late 80s, and this movie brought it all back, vividly. The office politics, the way the permanent workers "look down" on the temps, the menial and mind-numbing tasks, the good old boys (mostly white males, at that time) who were in charge and above it all. Not all of my jobs were as horrible as the office depicted in this movie, but enough were that it occasionally gave me chills. I hope that things have improved, with the proliferation of computers and other advanced technology, at least in terms of the work itself. But I can guarantee that in some places, that temp vs. perm "caste system" will always be there, regardless of how the jobs get done.
The performances in the movie were excellent. I really liked Parker Posey's exuberant portrayal, as well as Toni Collette's studied, more subtle effort. She expresses so much pain and frustration through her facial expressions and quiet, even-toned narration.
The movie is not for everyone, and some viewers will no doubt be bored and/or confused by it. But if you've ever been a temp of any kind, or worked in an office, I think it will resonate with you.
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