The Assistant

The Assistant

The silent enablers


Jane, the title office worker (Julia Garner, again proving there’s life beyond Ozark) is an assistant to a powerful entertainment magnate (the obvious mental image is of course Harvey Weinstein.) During one long day at the office, we see that she is gradually becoming aware of the systemic abuse that defines every facet of her job.

But Kitty Green’s spare film is not about her boss. Or any number of sleazeballs that got caught up in the #metoo movement. If it has a theme word, it would be “complicit.” Because instead of focusing on the obviously guilty parties in abuse cases, it’s aimed at the twisted power structures, and perhaps more importantly the amoral complicity of everyone on the org chart that allows, nay, enables such things to go unpunished. It’s neither lurid nor explicit, but upsets with a steady undertone of toxicity that will invite squirming.

Garner was made to pay Jane. She has few lines, but this is a woman of mute ferocity that can speak tomes in a raised eyebrow or simple way of standing. Not to be missed. (87 min)