Julia Garner stars in this highly effective psychological drama as an office assistant working for a powerful New York based film producer. We see central character Jane doing several remedial tasks around the office and picking up several items that suggest systemic abuse of power on behalf of the producer (who is discussed but never seen.) The film captures the daily grind of monotonous work perfectly and there is excellent use of minimal dialogue throughout that is always telling us as the audience something about the producer, the work environment or the way he exploits his power. It would be easy to call the film indulgent and boring, but this represents a severe misunderstanding of one of the films greatest strengths.
It should be very obvious that of the film is a #metoo story with Jane trying flag the abuse and allow it to be taken seriously in an industry where this kind of behaviour was rampant in the age of Harvey Weinstein and long before. It is probably the definitive film that has been made on this subject up until this point. This is partly because the film does not take sides, is in no way preachy and is not driven by an agenda to tell the audience how brave Jane is for attempting to shed light on these injustices. It presents everything in a very matter of fact and unbiased way, and this makes the struggles of our central character have a much greater emotional impact.
The Assistant will not be for everyone. The way it so effectively captures the daily grind will be written off by some as boring and massively indulgent. Audiences that see the film in this way are missing out on an incredibly powerful piece of work that is likely the definitive film made on #metoo to as off now. If the film sounds like something interesting to individual audience members it will definitely be worth their time