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  • Jessica Taylor Yates

Film Review: The Assistant

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Am I dumb, or is this just...okay?

The Assistant Trailer

Source: Bleecker Street

So, I'm writing this in the hope that I eventually write heaps of film reviews, they get noticed and then I live my dream and get to go to the movies fo freeee! No point beating around the bush. In saying that, we're here now, so let's dive into the latest film I saw - at A REAL CINEMA in 2020, can you believe it?

Now, I'll start by saying, I literally would have seen anything, I missed MECCA, aka my local cinema, so much. The chairs, the overpriced choc-tops, being told off for talking, needing to stifle my lactose intolerance the entire film - bliss. Honestly, the film could have been in Spanish with no subtitles and I would have been like, 'Just thanks so much for having me, you guys!!' But, you're not here to listen to why I can't have dairy, you wanna know about the film.

So, the movie. I watched it for something to do while I'm waiting for Tenet and The King of Staten Island to come out, and also, it was only $10, so you know, this gave me the leftover $46 to spend on my ice-cream.

The Assistant is one of those off-beat films that get all this festival praise, and when you see it and it kinda feels a bit Emperor's New Clothes-ish. Like, I didn't get the hoopla. Do I not get it? Am I dumb, or is this just...okay?

The good

The story follows a day in the life of Jane (Julia Garner), an assistant to a powerful movie executive we know simply as 'Him'. She acts really well considering she has like two lines (fomo, easiest script to learn ever), as we see the subtle micro-aggressions, misogyny and passive-aggressive, sexist behaviour that she puts up with every day, and would be common the world over. The film is pretty good at showing and not telling in that regard, and you really feel your skin crawl in certain moments, like when she's cleaning a 'casting couch' or when a guy watches and stands way too close when she is forced to write an 'apology' to her boss for...well, I don't even know what.

The not so sure (I don't like saying bad)

Look, it's pretty slow. It is legitimately a day in the life. We're talking you watch her pour a glass of water, type an email, pick up rubbish, make a smoothie. I thought it went for six hours and it was only 87 minutes. It also didn't particularly climax for me (that's what she said - beat ya to it!) and I was left with more questions than answers, and also just feeling like, 'Oh...k'.

I think it would've been good as a cool short that built suspense, even if it's not what they wanted.

The best part

Stop the presses: Classic Cinema now has a vegan choc raspberry choc top. I'm not even vegan and it was a DELIGHT.

The worst part

Being told off for talking. Cringe. My friend and I HAD QUESTIONS AND THINGS TO SAY.

...I may or may not be the worst movie partner.

All in all

Good acting, good topic, but a little slow for mine. 2/5.

Want more movie reviews? Have a listen to our podcast where our announcer Nikki reviews one old school review a week here.


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