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The Assistant (2019)

R | | Drama | 3 April 2020 (UK)
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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.

Director:

Kitty Green

Writer:

Kitty Green
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Popularity
630 ( 231)

Julia Garner on the Challenge of Making 'The Assistant'

The Assistant writer/director Kitty Green and star Julia Garner discuss the care that goes into making "a quiet film" when the "subject is very loud."

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Garner ... Jane
Matthew Macfadyen ... Wilcock
Makenzie Leigh ... Ruby
Kristine Froseth ... Sienna
Jon Orsini ... Male Assistant
Noah Robbins ... Male Assistant
Stéphanye Dussud ... The Wife
Juliana Canfield ... Sasha
Alexander Chaplin ... Max
Dagmara Dominczyk ... Ellen
Bregje Heinen ... Tatiana
Lou Martini Jr. ... John
Liz Wisan ... Edwina
Clara Wong ... Tess
Sophie Knapp ... Little Girl
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Storyline

Follows one day in the life of Jane (Julia Garner), a recent college graduate and aspiring film producer, who has recently landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul. Her day is much like any other assistant's - making coffee, changing the paper in the copy machine, ordering lunch, arranging travel, taking phone messages, onboarding a new hire. But as Jane follows her daily routine, she, and we, grow increasingly aware of the abuse that insidiously colors every aspect of her work day, an accumulation of degradations against which Jane decides to take a stand, only to discover the true depth of the system into which she has entered. Written by Bleecker Street

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 2020 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Assistant See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$79,141, 2 February 2020

Gross USA:

$581,006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$581,006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Trivia

Matthew Macfadyen and Dagmara Domincyzk both have starring roles in Succession. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Julia Garner shines in stifling and devastating office working environment drama
15 February 2020 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"The Assistant" (2019 release; 85 min.) brings a day in the life of Jane. As the movie opens, Jane comes into the office at a pre-dawn hour, and get the office ready for another work week. She seems to be doing a little bit of everything (answering the office phone, collecting documents, cleaning up, etc.) Gradually people are filing in, and we understand pretty quickly that this is a film production house, with a stifling working environment and the shadows of the (always off-camera) head of the company lurking everywhere. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest from Australian writer-director Kitty Green, but the first film she's directed that is not a documentary. The fictional story, which plays out over a single working day, is plot-heavy so let me just make a couple of general observations. First, the film is set almost entirely in the production company offices, and hence feels a bit like a theater play. Second, the movie is minimalist in approach, and what you hear off-camera and off-screen is just as important as what is on the screen (and interestingly, in the movie's closing credits, there are almost as many "voice characters" listed as there are acting performers). Third, the director is able to perfectly capture the stifling office environment, to the point where you get a sinking feeling in your stomach, and what I kept thinking was "is this what it was like at the Weinstein Company offices?". Last, but certainly not least, major kudos for the fantastic performance by Julia Garner as Jane. Garner She has been around for about a decade, but this may truly be her breakout role.

"The Assistant" premiered at last year's Telluride film festival to immediate acclaim, and it is no accident that this movie is currently certified 88% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie received a limited release in late January and has been rolling out to more cities in the subsequent weeks. It opens this weekend at my local art-house here in Cincinnati and I couldn't wait to see it. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was not attended well (7 people in total, to be exact), and that is a darn shame. If you are interested in better understanding the toxic working environment that many women have to live through in this day and age, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.


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