Jane (Julia Garner) is a junior assistant to a prominent entertainment executive, a man whose face we never get to see, though whose character is clearly inspired by the #MeToo testimonies surrounding Harvey Weinstein. There is nothing glamorous or rewarding about Jane’s job, yet she’s often reminded that any young aspiring film producer would kill to take her place.
Over the course of 24 hours we bear witness as Garner’s superbly understated Jane faces a multitude of degradations and hostilities (from both men and women), which she continues to bear stoically. She quietly goes about her mundane tasks with an attitude of someone who is used to this type of treatment. Just when we think that nothing can be done about her growing discomfort in this land of self-importance, Jane takes action — and what follows is a fascinating depiction of the mechanics that lead to abuse of power.
**Why we love it: ‘_The Assistant**_ was one of the best films released in the UK last year, but it’s been largely ignored by major awards bodies so I am really pleased we can bring it some more attention on Glasgow Film At Home. While the film remains a timely reflection on how a Weinstein-type figure maintains a culture of fear and silence, it is also relevant to this precise moment in the UK, as we begin to tentatively look forward to returning to our offices and teams after so much time working in (physical) isolation. The Assistant really effectively shows how an oppressive, controlling atmosphere can be so tough to break in an office environment; it’s a useful film to watch and consider the aspects of office life that we can happily reject and move on from.’ - Paul Gallagher, GFT Programme Manager