Movie Review: The movie The Assistant, the movie Soul, and the movie I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Zachary Hess Award Nominations Cont.
a patiently paced story of the many unsung heroes in the film industry
The second film on my list places Julia Garner into the life of an assistant to a power film executive. The Assistant tackles the difficult topic of workplace abuses and misconduct widely discussed following the #METOO movement. A heart-sinking slow burn that leaves you in a bought of angst, The Assistant is one of the best films of the 2020 year. Kitty Green’s fiction feature debut is a beautifully paced look at a day’s work as one of the most underappreciated jobs in the film industry. From before dawn till after dusk our every girl protagonist, Jane, sends emails, checks schedules, files paperwork, and preps meetings. In the hands of worse filmmakers, The Assistant would crash and burn, but thanks to the sum of its parts this film is riveting. Distributed by Bleecker Street on Hulu The Assistant is an uneasy 90-minute stream away from appearing on your best of the year list.
Next comes a remarkable animated film that is safely locked onto the Best Animated Feature Oscar, but I would argue more deserving of the Grand Prize recognition. Pete Doctor’s Inside Out follow-up Soul. The animated adventure attempts to answer one of the most important questions in life, what’s it all for? What makes life worth living. Doctor’s fourth feature film Soul finds the innate beauty in all things. The simple musicality of life. It will make you cry, but it’s a testament to how successful the film is. It’s hard to summarize much of the plot without outright spoiling the narrative, so I’m going to just say go watch Soul it’s on Disney + for no extra charge.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Out of all the films on my list, Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things is probably the least accessible. The hard to follow narrative is an easy turn off for many. The film follows a couple in a “meeting the parents” scenario. Quickly the narrative devolves into something far more abstract and headier. Topics of loneliness, artistic expression, intellectualism, and appreciation vs criticism are present in this snowstorm web of a film. Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons play the couple at the heart of the story. For viewers familiar with Charlie Kaufman’s work, I’m Thinking of Ending Things will feel right at home in his filmography. The director previously wrote the award-winning films, Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. If this is your introduction to the filmmaker, be prepared for a fun thought-provoking time. Kaufman adapted the film from Iain Reid’s novel of the same name. The film is likely to be competing for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars. I’m Thinking of Ending Things is available on Netflix.
Watch The Assistant on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWEXqJgw5Xo
Editor: Zachary Hess