Noovie's Alt. Movies: 'The Assistant,' 'Taylor Swift: Miss Americana'

Here's the latest on what's new, what's next, and what you should watch this week from across the indie scene.

Matt Lissauer

By Matt Lissauer

scene from the assistant movie

Here's your weekly round up all the fresh indie movie news and trailers not tied to mega-franchises or superheroes.

 © Bleecker Street Media / courtesy Everett Collection

© Bleecker Street Media / courtesy Everett Collection

Alt Movie Pick of the Week - "The Assistant"

Who's in it?

Julia Garner, Matthew Macfayden, Makenzie Leigh, Noah Robbins. Directed by Kitty Green.

What's it about?

Recent grad and budding film producer, Jane (Julia Garner), lands her dream job working for a powerful entertainment mogul. But, as Jane falls into her daily routine, she becomes increasingly aware of the insidious abuse lurking around each corner.

What's the buzz?

Just as disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault and rape trial in New York continues to unfold, "The Assistant" opens in select theaters. This kind of timing may or may not have been planned, but it couldn't be more perfect. Weinstein's downfall in 2017 gave rise to the #MeToo Movement, and without that movement and its aftermath, it's unlikely that this movie would be receiving the attention that it's deservingly getting right now. The unseen, yet vociferous, mogul in the film is clearly a nod to Weinstein, and the large shadow that he cast over the budding actresses that crossed his path hoping for a chance at stardom. Hindsight paints a perfect picture, and through Jane's eyes we're able to truly understand the power dynamics behind such abuse, and how it can go undetected and ignored for so long.

Who's it for?

Amid the slow burn of "The Assistant," is a subtle performance from Garner. This is her show, and without the conventional theatrics from such material, she is able to take us right into the emotional core of issue. As Jocelyn Noveck of the Associated Press writes, "The expressive Garner does a lot with a little. She has no big speeches, no tantrums, no floods of tears. It's the ultimate unshowy part.'"

© Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

© Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

Beyond the Theater: New Indies Now Streaming on a Platform Near You

Noovie's Streaming Pick - Taylor Swift: Miss Americana - Pop superstar Taylor Swift opens up in this raw documentary that just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Mystify: Michael Hutchence - Filmmaker Richard Lowenstein explores the life and legacy of the late INXS front man.

© Sundance Institute

© Sundance Institute

Indie News Flash

Here's your run-down of the freshest indie news and fun features on cinematic classics that hit the web this week.

Studios are Betting on Sundance - As A-listers like Will Smith swarmed Park City to tout their latest low-budget release, studios have been putting up big bucks in the hopes that they will land the next breakout hit. The Atlantic

Safdies' Next Project - A Dark Pee-wee Herman Reboot? - In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Paul Reubens, creator of the zany '80s kids' TV show host Pee-wee Herman, announced he's shopping around a gritty reboot of his famed character. After director/producer Judd Apatow and Netflix content head Ted Sarandos passed, Reubens approached the sibling directors of "Uncut Gems." Netflix and Apatow were behind the last Pee-wee Herman movie, "Pee-wee's Big Holiday." With the Safdies showing interest, could hit indie studio A24 be the ones that revive this franchise in a new direction? [Update: the Sadfie's further explained that were never in anything more than just passing talks with Reubens.] The Hollywood Reporter

Listen to the Best Original Song Nominees - Elton John lands his first Oscar nomination since 1994's "The Lion King," with "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again," from "Rocketman." Also up for the prize is Diane Warren ("I'm Standing With You" from "Breakthrough"), Randy Newman ("I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" from "Toy Story 4"), Cynthia Ervio ("Stand Up" from "Harriet," from which she's also up for Best Actress), and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez ("Into the Unknown" from "Frozen II"). Rolling Stone

Best Movies to Stream - It's the close of one month and the start of another; and with that comes the monthly purge of some titles off of your favorite platform to make way for some new entries. But, here's a collection of quality films you can stream right now that are sure to stay put where they are (at least for now). GQ

Oscar Voting Begins - As voting commences for the upcoming Academy Awards next weekend, an anonymous director breaks down the categories and his picks. Indiewire

What to Watch in 2020 - Next week's Academy Awards will close the curtain on the films of 2019. What are the movies to look out for this year and which ones will likely earn award accolades? Sight & Sound

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About the Author

Matt Lissauer

Matt Lissauer

Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.

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