Sling Movie Rental of the Week, Apr. 28-May 4
Released earlier this year, The Assistant is a timely masterpiece on workplace abuse, highlighting what one new hire is forced to endure at her job every day. Starting today, it is available to rent on Sling.
Jane (Julia Garner) is an assistant at a prominent film production company. She’s only been there a couple months, but she’s already beginning to realize how poorly she’s being treated. The two male assistants make her deal with the basic office duties like coffee, ordering lunch, and dealing with the boss’s wife’s phone calls. Her predatory boss even hires another female “assistant” (Jane isn’t so convinced) with no film experience, flying her in and putting her up in a fancy hotel. Given the vast difference in their experiences at work, Jane must decide whether voicing her concerns is worth risking her career.
The film’s pacing might be slow, but it only emphasizes the dread Jane is experiencing every day -- subtle and understated. The Assistant plays on our expectations that there will be some sort of dramatic event that crosses a clear line. But what happens here is much different; the mental toll is paid bit-by-bit with the little, unsettling comments and actions Jane must constantly endure.
The film gets a huge lift from its lead, Julia Garner. Best known for her role as Ruth Langmore in Ozark, she’s quickly becoming a household name. Garner herself said she liked the role of Jane because it challenged her thanks to her character’s lack of dialogue (it’s mostly an observation of her day-to-day work duties) and the lack of an accent (compared to the Southern one she carries on Ozark). Her performance - one that many can empathize with - is raw and emotional.
Director Kitty Green told IMDb she wanted to highlight toxic workplace culture in her debut film. She emphasized that microaggressions - those seemingly small indignities playing out on screen - can have a heavy impact on those that have to endure them. And while Green chose to base the movie on the film business that she’s familiar with, she consulted with other industries and believes this film can apply to many other professions, sadly.
Not everyone will like this movie because of its pacing and plot. There is no climax, no triumphant ending; it’s just one work day in the life of Jane. That’s precisely why it’s so chilling. Whether you’ve seen or experienced a toxic workplace like this yourself, its disturbing subtlety makes The Assistant worth a watch.
The Assistant is now available to rent for a one-time purchase of $5.99.
Other new movies now Available:
Brahms: The Boy II
Dan Cummins: Get Outta Here; Devil!
Across the Arctic
Dennis and Lois
Las Pildoras De Mi Novio
The Source of Shadows