Assistant

The film takes place over the course of a single day in the life of Jane, a junior assistant who has been working at a film production company in New York City for five weeks. Jane arrives well before dawn and performs various menial administrative tasks. Her job’s long hours and demanding tasks keep her busy and incredibly stressed. During a phone call with her mother, Jane learns that she forgot to call her father on his birthday.

As Jane’s day progresses, it becomes clear that her boss has been having sex in his office with many younger women and facilitating a culture of sexual harassment at the company. Many of the male executives make snide comments about the boss’s affairs while the female executives handle their own workloads and discuss the possibility of transferring to other departments. Whenever Jane does something her boss deems a mistake, he verbally abuses her over the phone as her two male junior assistant coworkers watch silently. Throughout the day, a variety of people from the boss’s life interact with Jane, including his wife, his children’s nanny, a famous actor, and a group of Chinese film producers.

In the afternoon, a young, inexperienced woman named Sienna arrives from Idaho, saying she has been offered a job as a junior assistant. Jane, concerned for Sienna’s well-being, goes to the Human Resources department to file a report after dropping Sienna off at a five-star hotel being paid for by the company. Wilcock, the head of HR, encourages Jane to share her concerns, but later makes it clear that he is turning a blind eye to her harassment claims, before demeaning her, speaking down to her, and stating she is jealous. He also discloses that filing a formal complaint would destroy Jane’s career. As Jane leaves his office, he reminds her that she has nothing to worry about as Jane is not the boss’s “type”. Visibly upset, Jane receives a call from her boss when she returns to her desk. He has been informed about the unfiled report and demands Jane write an email apology addressed to him. He replies saying that he is especially hard on Jane because he knows how great she is.

Towards the end of the day, Sienna arrives at the office so Jane can teach her how to use the phone systems. As night falls, Jane prepares a microwave dinner for herself while other employees leave; her boss stays late in his office with a young actress. He calls Jane on the intercom and tells her to go home. Jane goes to a coffee shop across the street and calls her father as she eats a muffin. After she hangs up, she sees a silhouette in her boss’s window appearing to have sex.