The Good Boss: Another Review
Blanco (Javier Bardem) is the boss at a company which has been awarded for its excellence by the government for many years. There’s another on the way soon and all Blanco has to do is to keep it together as he always does with his own brand of insincere charm. However, it seems that things may not be entirely in his control as his right-hand man, Miralles (Manolo Solo) is going through a divorce and is not taking it well.
His once trusted partner is slowly losing his mind, his money and his power and Blanco is the one trying to pull him out of it. There’s also a disgruntled employee, Jose (Óscar de la Fuente) who is making his presence well known by protesting daily outside of the company walls and although he’s mostly ignored, he’s a constant presence.
Then there’s Liliana (Almudena Amor) who seems to be causing Blanco the most trouble and it’s all his own fault. That’s because Blanco has always had a wandering eye and he’s finding himself getting ever closer to the young intern. All Blanco has to do is keep it together for one week.
The Good Boss is the latest film collaboration between Javier Bardem and writer/director Fernando León de Aranoa. Spain’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at this year’s Oscars, it tells of the kind of boss who puts on the charm for his employees and deep down has the morals of a snake.
Bardem plays the role particularly well, although considering his reputation as a handsome leading man then perhaps the part could have gone to somebody less appealing to hammer the message home a little further. His performance is suitably slimy and his appearance is altered to make him look like an experienced if aging businessman, but it may make you wonder why they didn’t hire somebody else.
There’s also the matter of the story and that’s where it feels a little dated. That’s because although the film is about a man past his best still chasing after younger women while maintaining his own empire, these days a film such as this perhaps should have an opinion on his behaviour.
Sure, there is the rather unsubtle metaphor of the scales of justice being unbalanced, but a tip in the other direction could have led to a more satisfying conclusion.
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