The Assistant ★★★★

“The Office,” but in hell. 


This movie is so small and subtle—in its budget, in its execution and in the public profile it’s capable of winning for itself—that it’s very likely to be missed or dismissed by most. I mean, its title is almost perversely nondescript. In fact there’s a quality to the whole film that is so weirdly vague and almost blurry. Characters don’t get names and actions aren’t explicit and even the main protagonist has a hard time describing the principal conflict. 


And yet at the same time everything in this movie is still somehow incredibly specific and unambiguous in its emotional power. It’s a direct commentary on the world immediately pre-COVID, and it feels searingly accurate and surprisingly effective. It’s small and subtle and indirect not because that’s all the filmmakers could afford, but because that narrow focus allows the story to be told so much more incisively, directly and powerfully. It punches far, far above its weight. I can’t recommend it enough.