San Sebastian Film Festival – Deadline


Long ago, Javier Bardem told me that he could never play a romantic hero. “Look at that face! He said in what was then hesitant Englishman. “It’s the face of a bad boy!” Of course, he was so wrong: Bardem’s face turned out to be almost infinitely adaptable. At Fernando Leon de Aranoa The good boss (El Buen Patron), which he owns from top to bottom (rightly so, given that he is the boss in question), he has the usual grin of a benevolent uncle, although the uncle suspects of have a secret porn stash in the basement.

Julio Blanco (Bardem) feels like a father to his workers, he says silkyly during a farewell drink on Friday for a group of so-called workers whom he gently cuts off, drinking a glass of wine in smiling at them. “Sometimes you have to make tough decisions for the sake of the family.”

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Blanco inherited the company that manufactures industrial scales from his father. Miralles (Manolo Solo), the increasingly restless production manager, was his childhood playmate when his own father worked for Blanco Sr. Everyone is family and families aren’t just for hours of work. job; one of the machinists comes to clean Blanco’s pool filter on Sunday morning, scraping up the mud while the boss and his wife have breakfast on their terrace. Loyalty is the ticket. In return, the employee asks if Blanco could use his influence to free his rogue son, recently arrested for beating Arab boys in the park. “Can you talk to him, boss?” asks the graying old proletarian. “He respects you. “

“The good boss”
San Sebastian

It’s not a bad idea, really; Blanco is good at finding solutions. The racist offender is entrusted to his wife, who has a clothing store, to store his stash while he remains – temporarily, ultimately, also thanks to Blanco – out of trouble.

It is much more difficult to know what to do with José, the laid-off worker who has set up a camp outside the company’s gates and continues to hurl accusations through a megaphone. The doors themselves are also a problem: the large working ladders that sit above them, announcing Blancos Basculas bastion of balance and precision, are slightly distorted. They bow even more when José decides to use them as a pot. So many worries!

The good boss, which was shortlisted as a Spanish entry for the International Feature Academy Award, takes place over a week. Monday becomes Tuesday. The ordering system is in chaos, which means production has come to a halt. It’s the fault of Miralles, who has been running on empty since deciding his wife Aurora must be having an affair and has started spending her nights spying on her stationary car. Blanco visits Aurora at work to try to convince her to become a better wife, which goes as well as expected.

Meanwhile, Blanco’s aging head has been turned over by Liliana (Almudena Amor), a slender intern with her own dreams and plans that Blanco tinkers with too late; can he bribe his loading dock operator, whose Facebook page shows he has common sense with the ladies, to distract her? Evil piles up on evil.

There are some roles that require the wrong wigs. This is one of them. The gray tea on Bardem’s head has its own joke with the audience, which is very funny for the director; a lot of laughs develop slowly in scenes where at least one person present has no idea what’s going on and won’t be told.

Maximum dramatic irony is achieved in an excruciatingly timed and excruciatingly timed dinner scene involving Los Blancos, the lewd intern and her parents, which is like a cat’s cradle of people talking against the tide. During the public screening at the San Sebastian Film Festival, where The good boss is in competition, the audience was so enthralled by a zinger that there was an spontaneous cheer.

Bardem flies away in these settings: soothing, concealed and manipulative. Modern Machiavelli with an MBA in Management, he’s fascinating. He also sells us the best joke of all: that Blanco really believes he is a good boss, that he thinks he cares, that he sees himself as a paterfamilias for everyone involved in the business. balance of his balance. But really, if you bought this idea, you would buy anything. So, do you fancy a scale? Used condition, as you can see – yes, bad deal – but honestly they’re just a little wobbly. And there is a special offer for the family, of course.


Darcy J. Skinner

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