Movie Review: The Assistant


The movie “The Assistant” is very unusual because of its extreme simplicity, at times known as a “minimalist approach” to story telling.

This entire film plays more like a documentary is nothing more than showing a long series of tasks during a workday, that demonstrate the harsh reality of a young movie production assistant named Jane played by very well by Julia Garner. Jane’s life is getting up very early in the morning and then handling every task in her office, from the complex, to the trivial and even the extremely menial. Jane is the only woman in her office area that is shared by two other men. Her job is at times hard to watch, and this includes rampant disrespect from her co-workers, back stabbing and constant stress and paranoia due to the possible hire of another younger and very attractive assistant. Even when she complains about this other new assistant and possible sexual harassment, her concerns are arbitrarily dismissed.

There is nothing easy for any of us of when we are young and trying to learn the high stress life of making money and working for and with other people – both good and bad. For all that Jane has to endure to make a living, the message always is; this is the price you pay for being young and trying to break into the movie business. The question is, how much disrespect and suffering is worth a certain amount of money or realizing any lifelong dream? This is the question all of us face when we work for other people and try to keep a roof over our heads.

The subtle real life acting in this film is outstanding, starting with Julia Garner and everyone else in this cast. I agree with the high marks from Rotten Tomatoes of 89% and highly recommend this great film that is about what almost all of us can relate to, when we hold a job.