(III) (2019)

Critic Reviews



Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The Assistant is more of a spartan procedural, its narrative a methodical accounting of one day—typical in incident, atypical in dawning realization—for an entry-level employee at the New York production house of a Weinstein-like figure.
What makes the film such a spare but searingly insightful treatment of the issues at the core of Me Too is the way it refuses to separate its unseen executive’s sexual predation from the larger structures that enable it.
A quiet work with major ambitions, The Assistant is a significant cultural statement in cinematic form.
Instead of melodrama, the movie finds its traction in parsing out micro-aggressions and mood: a sort of devastating slow-drip portrait of the power structures that allowed a man like Weinstein to happen — and keep more like him in place, untouched by any justice a hashtag can reach.
[Green has] made a powerful movie about the ways power enforces silence, even between assistants and other underlings—people convinced they have everything to lose. It’s a movie about the tragedy of being brought into the fold and conditioned into that silence. And it’s a movie about how a person feels when they believe they have nowhere to go.
Clinical in nature and matter-of-fact (but still affecting), The Assistant is essentially a procedural about being a personal assistant to a powerful Hollywood man and all that entails.
Garner is perfectly cast, a pixie of steel. You can see by the stern set of Jane’s lips and by the way, time and again, she just barely represses an eye roll, that she’s tough enough to handle all of this–and yet she knows she shouldn’t have to.
While the filmmaker rightly understands that shock value isn’t the only way to tell a visceral story, its central performance by Julia Garner is what makes the film most interesting to watch.
The central character never develops in an interesting way. Well before the wrap-up of this brief tale, her cultivated recessiveness becomes tiresome and, in these particular circumstances, a bit dull.
Exasperatingly low-key ... This is no time for subtlety, and yet Green’s film feels so restrained, you’d think she was afraid of being sued for slander.

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