Javier Bardem is mesmerizing as Blanco in The Good Boss, a dark comedy about a family-owned Spanish company—Basculas Blanco–that produces industrial scales. The film, directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa, was Spain’s Oscar selection for the 94th Academy Awards.
The Good Boss shows Blanco’s persona as a kindly, charismatic leader begin to unravel when he is besieged by a number of personal and personnel problems. As President and CEO of the company he inherited from his father, Blanco points to their scales as a prime example of balance and justice. Hoping to win a prestigious local award for excellence in business, Blanco goes overboard in his attempts to put the scales back in balance.
For the first third of the film, Blanco seems like the perfect, caring boss that we’d all love to have. But as problems start to mount, he behaves more like a benevolent dictator than friendly employer. Blanco doesn’t recognize any boundaries, and thinks nothing of meddling with the private lives of any of his 100 employees—often to disastrous results.
The Good Boss Unravels
When his longtime head of production Miralles (Manolo Solo) is experiencing marital issues that cause problems on the line, the Boss takes him out drinking to meet other women. Blanco himself apparently has a track record of seducing the more attractive female interns at his company. He is dismayed to find that his most recent conquest Lilliana (Almudena Amor) is a close friend’s daughter who should have been off limits
Blanco’s most frustrating personnel problem is Jose (Oscar de la Fuente), a fired employee who stakes his tent on vacant property adjoining the factory to stage a one-man revolution against the company. When none of Blanco’s attempts to negotiate a truce before the committee arrives to tour the factory are successful, he resorts to more dramatic means—with tragic results.
The script for The Good Boss was written by Director Aranoa, and the comedy/drama is expanding into more theatres in the U. S. this month. The Good Boss runs two hours, and it is distributed by Cohen Media Group.