The Assistant review – stirring, sober portrait of injustice

The sky is dark and quiet both when Jane (Julia Garner) first walks into the office, and when she leaves. “First one in, last one out, right?” she’s reminded. Jane does everything, for everyone; taking calls, booking cars, cleaning floors, stacking bottles, washing dishes. Director Kitty Green spends the first 20 minutes or so showing this in real time — mundanities are afforded much more than a montage. We are never told her job title, but it never feels necessary.

We know she is a film production company assistant, and that means she must be able to do anything. For who? All we get is a “he”. Jane works for a very important man that everyone knows, everyone wants to impress and everyone talks about. We don’t get his name or his face, but that doesn’t matter. Kitty Green’s debut dramatic feature (following documentaries Ukraine Is Not A Brothel and Casting JonBenet) is strongest in its silences, entirely in control of a subtext that screams without making a sound.

Read the full review at Empire

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