Julia Garner — who this year received an Emmy Award for her role in Ozark — stars in the harrowing new thriller The Assistant, which screens at Sundance next month and premieres in theaters January 31st. The film is, in part, inspired by the allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Garner portrays Jane, an entry-level assistant working for a movie mogul in New York. As Jane goes about her daily routines at the company, she grows aware — and suspicious — of the intimidation and abuse happening behind closed doors, and what she might be implicated in.
Director Kitty Green, who helmed Netflix’s Casting JonBenet, makes a distinct creative choice as seen in the trailer: the film is told from Jane’s point-of-view, with little to no footage of the mogul himself. He’s portrayed, by and large, as a muffled voice inside his office or a threatening whisper on the other end of a phone call.
“When we’re looking at interrogating this system that’s allowed women to be sidelined for so long, it’s not just men that are accountable,” Green told Rolling Stone in August, shortly after the film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. “We all have to examine our role, women included. So much of the MeToo coverage was like, Oh, these few bad apples — we get rid of Harvey Weinstein and everything will be fixed. But the problem is bigger than that. It’s systemic, it’s cultural, and we need to all ask how we can make it better, how we can improve on it, how we can see change — not just a few bad men.”