Saturday, 6 June 2020

The Assistant

Kitty Green's 'a day in the life' of an assistant to a powerful film producer in America is the basis for this film which I would no doubt have glossed over if it were not for Julia Garner being in the lead, on the back of an superb performance in The Ozark.

There are obvious themes here having a poke at the Weinstein situation as the depiction of young people with great ambition being abused in the Movie Industry coming through up front and centre. No names - in fact we never even see her boss, I don't think - but suggestion, phone calls and layers of staff snubbing out any attempts at challenges to 'the way things are'. Not just sexual abuse and liberties taken, but also working long hours for small pay and being expected to go the extra mile.

Garner plays the central role perfectly, though the film is a real slow-burner. Almost nothing happens most of the way through, but this is a reflection of how it is for these people who have been trapped into the system, it seems. Mundane, unless they can break into favour by favours. The one time she questions something in the process, she's well and truly told to knuckle-under. The film starts with her getting up at the crack of dawn in the dark and going to work before anyone else - and ends with her getting home after dark, last to leave.

It's an excellent and sad depiction of the way things allegedly are and well worth a watch for those who have the patience and can focus on Garner's performance.

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