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‘The Assistant’: Kitty Green’s Unnerving Harvey Weinstein Thriller Stakes Out 2020 Release

The disgraced former producer doesn't ever directly appear in the real-time thriller, but his presence is felt in every moment.

the assistant

“The Assistant”

Bleecker Street

In a serendipitous bit of timing, Bleecker Street has announced it has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to Kitty Green’s fascinating “The Assistant,” a real-time thriller that follows the aide to a powerful mogul during a horrific day on the job. While Harvey Weinstein is never directly named as the heavy-hitter in question, his specter haunts every frame of the film, along with recent Emmy winner Julia Garner as the assistant in question. The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival to critical acclaim and will be released on January 31, 2020.

Per the film’s official synopsis, it “follows one day in the life of Jane (Julia Garner), a recent college graduate and aspiring film producer, who has recently landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul. Her day is much like any other assistant’s — making coffee, changing the paper in the copy machine, ordering lunch, arranging travel, taking phone messages, onboarding a new hire. As Jane follows her daily routine, she, and we, grow increasingly aware of the abuse that insidiously colors every aspect of her work day, an accumulation of degradations against which Jane decides to take a stand, only to discover the true depth of the system into which she has entered.”

In IndieWire’s review at this year’s Telluride Film Festival, where the film premiered, Eric Kohn wrote that the film has a “stunning performance at its center, … there’s no doubting the hypnotic power of a movie that digs inside Weinstein’s harrowing reign and observes the mechanics that allowed it to last so long. A quiet work with major ambitions, ‘The Assistant’ is a significant cultural statement in cinematic form.”

In an official statement, Green said, “I’m so thrilled that ‘The Assistant’ is in the hands of a team with such passion and vision for sharing it with the world.” Added producer Jen Dana, “We’re so proud of this movie, both on its own terms as a cinematic experience and for how it contributes to the ongoing conversation about gender, power, and women’s roles in the workplace. It is wonderful to have a partner in Bleecker Street who will support both Kitty as a filmmaker and help drive the necessary broader conversation surrounding the movie.”

Earlier this year, the filmmakers, producers, and financiers announced an exciting partnership with The New York Women’s Foundation. This partnership will see 10% of their profits set aside to support the organization. The film is produced by Kitty Green, Scott Macaulay, James Schamus, and P. Jennifer Dana and Ross Jacobson of 3311 Productions. Executive producers are John Howard, Philipp Engelhorn and Leah Giblin of Cinereach, Abigail E. Disney, The Level Forward Team, Mark Roberts, Sean King O’Grady, and Avy Eschesnasy.

The film will lead off Bleecker Street’s 2020 release slate, following by “Ordinary Love” on February 14, Sally Potter’s untitled latest on March 13, “Military Wives” on March 27, and “Dream Horse” on May 1.

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