“The Assistant” is no longer being overlooked.
A new movie about predatory men in the entertainment industry is making a splash, with its star a hardworking, female assistant emblematic of scores of young women who have had to reckon with powerful, male bosses.
It’s perhaps no surprise that the director of the film is a woman. Kitty Green, writer and director of “The Assistant” — which The New York Times called “a painstaking examination of the way individual slights can coalesce into a suffocating miasma of harassment” — said she wanted the film’s sole focus to be on a woman’s experience navigating a toxic workplace culture.
“The idea was to shift the perspective a bit,” Green, who previously directed documentaries, told The Wall Street Journal. “Let’s force people to experience one day through the eyes of the youngest person on the desk of a predatory executive, and explore what that means.”
The events of the film quickly bring to mind disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose steep fall from the entertainment world helped spark the #MeToo movement. His rape trial began the same week that “The Assistant” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
Green interviewed more than 100 people who had worked as assistants in entertainment, advertising and technology, along with friends and coworkers. She said her movie stands in contrast to one like “Bombshell,” which focused on the female stars at Fox News who had been sexually harassed and abused.
“I wanted to highlight the problem, not in the kind of bold, ‘Bombshell’ way,” Green said, “but in the daily, little things that cut. I was looking for the ordinary rather than the extraordinary. I wanted something everyone could relate to.”
The film opens in New York and Los Angeles Friday, with a wider release next month.