“The Assistant” Delivers Unnerving Drama

Available on demand on Prime

Kitty Green’s The Assistant (B+) is a powerful drama about a day in the life of a woman who is on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder working for a largely unseen abusive movie mogul. Green’s muted color palette and simple set pieces help focus all eyes on the master class performance of Julia Garner as the titular worker bee trying to do her job well in a work environment replete with predatory, harassing and enabling supporting characters. Garner is astonishing in the role in a film that captures the zeitgeist of the #metoo movement better than Bombshell did and in a disturbing category occupied by In the Company of Men and Glengarry Glen Ross. There’s not much plot to speak of, and there are many unsolved mysteries, but Green does a wonderful job tapping into the asphyxiation of toxic work culture.

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