The Assistant

Watch The Assistant

  • R
  • 2020
  • 1 hr 25 min
  • 6.4  (25,723)
  • 79

The Assistant is a 2019 drama film starring Julia Garner as an entry-level film industry assistant who uncovers disturbing information about her boss's behavior. The film was written and directed by Kitty Green and features supporting performances from Owen Holland and Jon Orsini. The film centers on Jane, a recent college graduate who has landed a coveted position as an assistant to a powerful film executive in New York City. The film takes place over the course of a single day as Jane goes about the routine tasks of making coffee, scheduling appointments, and handling phone calls. However, as the day wears on, she begins to suspect that something is deeply wrong with her boss, particularly in his treatment of the many young women who work in his office.

At its heart, The Assistant is a searing critique of the film industry's toxic culture of sexual harassment and abuse. The film never directly depicts any instances of abuse, but instead relies on Jane's mounting sense of dread and her interactions with other women in the office to convey the pervasive nature of the problem. Throughout the day, Jane has to deal with the casual sexism and misogyny that permeates the office, such as her boss asking her to book a hotel room for him and his assistant to share.

As Jane begins to put the pieces together and realize the extent of her boss's behavior, she is faced with a difficult decision: should she do something about it, or keep her head down and stay out of trouble? The film is a damning indictment of the way that the powerful routinely get away with abusive behavior in the entertainment industry, and how those lower down the totem pole are often too afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation.

Despite its heavy subject matter, The Assistant is a remarkably restrained and subtle film. Much of the action takes place off-screen, with the camera lingering on Jane's face as she slowly comes to realize what is happening around her. The film's pacing can be slow at times, but this deliberate approach only makes the final scenes all the more impactful.

Julia Garner gives an incredible performance as Jane, expertly conveying the character's growing sense of frustration and anger as she confronts the injustice around her. The film is almost entirely told from Jane's point of view, and Garner carries the weight of this heavy responsibility with ease. Owen Holland and Jon Orsini are both excellent in supporting roles, playing other assistants in the office who have learned to deal with the toxic environment in their own ways.

All in all, The Assistant is a deeply affecting and important film that shines a light on a subject that has been ignored for far too long. Kitty Green has crafted a powerful and nuanced examination of the ways in which power dynamics can enable predatory behavior and the immense toll that this takes on those who are forced to endure it. This is a film that demands to be seen, and is sure to spark important conversations about the need for change in the entertainment industry and beyond.

The Assistant is a 2020 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 79.

The Assistant
Where to Watch The Assistant
The Assistant is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Amazon Prime, Max, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Assistant for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 25 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (25,723)
  • Metascore