Julia Garner, who just won an Emmy for her supporting turn in Netflix’s Ozark, leads this timely thriller, which follows an embattled entry-level cog in the employ of an abusive, Harvey Weinstein-esque movie producer. Director Kitty Green, who previously helmed Netflix’s intriguing Casting JonBenet, brings an interesting perspective to The Assistant as well, utilizing a hyper-focus on Garner that rarely allows the mogul to be more than a muffled shout on the other side of the wall.
“Her day is much like any other assistant’s—making coffee, changing the paper in the copy machine, ordering lunch, arranging travel, taking phone messages, onboarding a new hire,” reads a synopsis. “But as Jane follows her daily routine, she, and we, grow increasingly aware of the abuse that insidiously colors every aspect of her workday, an accumulation of degradations against which Jane decides to take a stand, only to discover the true depth of the system into which she has entered.”
As the trailer demonstrates, however, the struggles of Garner’s character don’t begin and end with him. The Assistant is about the culture of abuse that surrounds the powerful, from her bro-workers to Matthew Macfadyen’s clueless middle manager.
Makenzie Leigh and Kristine Froseth round out the cast of the film, which lands in theaters on January 31.