The Uncertainty Principle

The Good Boss

Director: Fernando Leon de Aranoa

Starring: Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor, Oscar de la Fuente, Tarek Rmili¸ Sonia Almarcha, Fernando Albizu

Film Rating: 8 out of 10

Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes

This film is in Spanish with English subtitles

The extraordinary depth of talent of Spanish actor and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) can be seen in the humorous yet clever comedy The Good Boss starring Bardem in the title role as Blanco, the owner of a factory in Spain that makes scales on an industrial level.

As an inherited factory owner, Blanco likes to treats his employees as his family yet in the week whereby his company could receive a prestigious European industrial award, Blanco has to contend with a whole range of bizarre occurrences at his factory including the crazy antics of fired worker Jose played by Oscar de la Fuente who decides to create a single man strike right outside the company’s headquarters much to Blanco’s literal disgust.

As Spain’s official entry for Best Foreign Language film at the 2022 Academy Awards, The Good Boss is a superb almost cynical look at how a Boss manages to stay on top amidst his colleagues meltdown, a distraction by a beautiful yet provocative young intern Liliana wonderfully played with panache by Almudena Amor and the pestering Jose whose continued presence outside the factory causes a problem for Blanco.

Javier Bardem (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Being the Ricardo’s) inhabits every aspect of this role as a duplicitous, commanding and ultimately egotistical boss Blanco who manages to outwit all these business and personal complications except for one. Bardem commands the screen and is brilliant as the wealthy yet slimy Blanco who appears to please everyone, but is ultimately protecting the company and himself.

The rest of the supporting cast are equally good although this comedy drama belongs to Bardem. The Good Boss is a cutting comedy of manners about workplace politics, illicit liaisons, scheming and betrayals while shining a cynical look on the hierarchal structure of industrial companies, from the boss to the head of production to the secretary and of course the misbehaving interns.

Like a work week, director Fernando Leon de Aranoa divides the film into days of the week, so it appears episodic in nature but in actual fact every little occurrence tips the scales of fairness against Blanco without him realizing it, adding the uncertainty principle into a series of events in which the boss appears to be in control. From the humorous exchanges between Blanco and the security guard Roman played by Fernando Albizu to Blanco’s deceitful affection towards his beautiful wife Adela played by Sonia Almarcha, The Good Boss is everything but decent.

The Good Boss is highly recommended viewing, a clever adult comedy about work politics, infidelity and underhand industrial tactics.

The Good Boss gets a film rating of 8 out of 10 and Javier Bardem is absolutely phenomenal. Highly recommended viewing.

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