What works for me so well in The Assistant is where it positions the viewer in relationship with what happens on screen. I think it’d be really easy to make a movie about Harvey Weinstein* and let audiences revel in their innocence of his crimes; it takes very little effort to treat a guy like him as a straightforward villain, and all the characters surrounding him as victims, direct or tangential, of his villainy. What The Assistant does is put audiences in the room just outside the office where the Weinstein surrogate works. We know what’s happening behind closed doors. We’re powerless to stop it, or at least we think we are.
This is just one of many subjects I covered when talking with Kitty Green, The Assistant‘s very talented director, back in February, before COVID-19 had us all on lockdown**. It’s been a while since this published, but if you have the urge to watch The Assistant on streaming, do that, then maybe read over our conversation.
You can find the full piece posted at Paste Magazine.
*Not Harvey Weinstein, per se, because Harvey Weinstein isn’t the only serial abuser in the movie industry
**And, more relevantly, before Weinstein was sentenced to prison for theoretically the rest of his life.