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Parents' Guide to

The Assistant

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Remarkable star performance makes #MeToo drama riveting.

Movie R 2020 87 minutes
The Assistant Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 16+

Thought provoking perspective on any entry level position

I found this movie to be a thought provoking perspective on any entry level career choice. “A day in the life” would sum it up quite nicely.
age 15+

Worst movie I've ever seen

I wouldn't waste any time watching this movie... Nothing happens in it at all and it's the most boring movie ever.... If you wa t to put your child off movies for life then this may well be the movie to do this... I wouldn't even give it one star to be honest... Anyone who gives it more than 1 star is either been paid by whoever made it or fell asleep while watching it and didn't want to admit it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Director Kitty Green's film, with an award-worthy performance by Garner, is a piercing look at how women in the entertainment industry witness and experience sexual coercion and harassment. Green and Garner are a powerful team. The camera's close-ups of Garner's expressive, evocative movements and gestures show exactly how conflicted and concerned Jane is about her job. She endures tiny indignities all day long because she believes the unwritten promise that, with the big boss's recommendation and favor, she'll eventually move forward from her entry-level job and launch into a behind-the-scenes film career. But the cost, as everyone at the production studio tacitly understands, is complicity in the boss's sexually predatory activities.

Green never shows viewers the boss, although he's heard ranting, and his presence is felt, quite ominously, in every scene. Your imagination fills in the blanks (if it's not exactly Harvey Weinstein, it's surely someone Weinstein-esque). Despite never being seen, the boss looms large in the way every character refers to him (from his wife's acid-tongued "where is he?" and "who is he with?" to an enabling veteran employee's "you're not his type" and another's resigned "is he in?"). The tense conversation between Jane and the HR rep, so perfectly played by Macfadyen, is brilliantly directed. At first it seems like there may be a miniscule chance he understands, but eventually the truth is revealed, and he turns on her, too -- dismissing and humiliating Jane with back-handed compliments about the future she'll give up if she speaks out against the proverbial "him." The Assistant is ultimately an intelligent, insightful look at the far-reaching way in which influential men subjugate and disempower women.

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