The Assistant (15)

Tuesday 4 Aug – Thursday 6 Aug

The Assistant

A performance of few words but immense physical eloquence by Julia Garner (who won an Emmy for her work on TV’s Ozark) anchors this impressively chilling #MeToo-era drama about workplace harassment and abuse. Following a day in the life of a young woman with dreams of making her mark in the film and television industry, it’s a sobering portrait of a dirty little secret that was brought into the news spotlight by the Harvey Weinstein scandal. All the more powerful for its understated tone, this low-key piece packs a hefty punch as it exposes the web of silence that enabled a very modern horror story.

It’s a credit to Garner that, as a character who effectively has no voice, she manages to say so much about Jane’s predicament through posture, pose and gesture; the way she seems constantly uneasy in her office chair; the fleeting glimpse of alarm in her eyes at the sound of a ringing phone; the slump of exhausted defeat that accompanies her lonely late-night sandwich. The weight of the world is on her shoulders, and thanks to Garner’s nuanced performance and Green’s skilful direction, we feel it upon ours too.

Programme Type: Film

Director: Kitty Green

Cast: Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Makenzie Leigh

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 87 minutes

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