The Spanish entry for Best International Feature Film at the upcoming 94th Academy Awards is, THE GOOD BOSS. Is the film worth your time and money?
Academy Award Winner Javier Bardem stars as Blanco, proprietor of Básculas Blanco, a Spanish company producing industrial scales in a provincial Spanish town, which awaits the imminent visit from a committee that will decide if they merit a local Business Excellence award: everything has to be perfect when the time comes. Working against the clock, Blanco pulls out all the stops to address and resolve issues with his employees, crossing every imaginable line in the process.
When Writer/Director Fernando Leon de Aranoa teams up with his buddy Javier the film world takes notice. When they teamed, for MONDAYS IN THE SUN, two decades ago Javier portrayed a lowly unemployed vagabond dockworker. That film looked at the work environment from the outside. Now Javier tackles the Boss role showcasing the work environment from the inner circle to the outside. Aranoa’s wit and sarcasm are on full display as he highlights the lengths to which a manager will go to for stability in the work force.
The movie has already made waves back on the Iberian peninsula by garnering 20 Goya nominations. The vast cast are especially highlighted in Aranoa’s work. Almudena Amor (Liliana), Manolo Solo (Miralles) and Oscar de la Fuente (Jose) are just three of the talented performances that hold their own opposite Bardem. The fluid pacing of the film helps keep the multiple interactions important as we see turmoil take over. A true tour-de-force of acting as we jump through all the possible incarnations of employee and family to the people behind Básculas Blanco.
International films sometimes can lose nuance and connectivity when seen by American audiences. The Good Boss does a fantastic job of being fully understandable through the satirical elements and still emotional touching to allow real connection to the characters. Aranoa’s a thoughtful mind attempts to highlight the difficult realities in our modern world. The extent a boss will go to for stability!
The Cohen Media Group’s handling of this film’s full distribution allows for American audiences to intake such a wise and wacky tale.
The film opens today in select theaters.
4 out of 5 Stars.
Written & Directed by: Fernando Leon de Aranoa
Running Time: 1h 56min
Comedy / Drama
Release: August 26th
Starring: Javier Bardem, Almudena Amor, Manolo Solo, & Oscar de la Fuente.
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
4 Stars – Good movie
3 Stars – OK movie
2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.