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Monday, May 4, 2020

The Assistant 2019 * * Stars

The AssistantDirector: Kitty Green
Year: 2019
Rated R
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Julia Garner, Kristin Froseth, Matthew Macfadyen

"Long hours, first one in last one out". Sounds like it could be a thankless job. And it could be even more thankless if you're second, third, or even fourth in command.

Anyway, if you want to view a twisted secretary flick where ferocity ensues, then check out 1993's The Temp or Obsessed. If you want the polar opposite and something plucked from the low budget indie circuit, then The Assistant will be right up your alley.

2019's "Assistant" has a cast of relative unknowns, a script that needs more cowbell, angry people only heard over the phone, and a nanosecond cameo from Patrick Wilson (he is listed as "Famous Actor"). "Assistant" for the most part, is the antithesis of being entertained.

The Assistant movie review & film summary (2020) | Roger EbertThe assistant in The Assistant is a young woman who works at a film production company in hopes of someday becoming a big time producer. Jane (played by Julia Garner) is said assistant and she is pasty, a little nosy, restrained, and unabashedly naive. In the only scene where the audience member doesn't feel totally detached, Jane goes to the HR department because she believes her superior is fooling around with a co-worker or two (tisk tisk).

Directed by someone known for documentaries (Kitty Green), inspired by the Weinstein scandal, and having the feeling of watching paint dry even at eighty-seven minutes, "Assistant" is a slowly-mounting character study that never actually mounts. Personas are constantly passive sans an actual human interaction at the 50-minute mark and the pic feels like a docu when it really shouldn't (hint hint).

Would You Have Said Anything? The Chilling Power of “The Assistant ...Sterile, somewhat unassertive, arc-less, and without an actual music score (except for a couple of piano notes at the end), The Assistant gets a "number two" as in stars. It's the self-indulgent Gerry of office space dramatizations and something made with humanoids instead of humans.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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