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The Good Boss (15) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir: Fernando Leon de Aronoa, Spain 2021, 120 mins.

Cast: Javier Badem, Oscar de la Fuente, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor

Spanish with English subtitles

Review by Carlie Newman

Javier Bardem brings a super slimy persona to director Fernando Leon de Aronoa‘s satire, The Good Boss. Bardem plays Julio Blanco who gives out the air of caring for his workers and referring to them as his family. But he is exploiting them. This Spanish comedy with a dark edge to it, shows Bardem as the head of a small company that makes scales in Spain.

Trying to get a regional award from the local government, he rallies the workers and encourages them to work hard for his company while he supports them. Unfortunately for Blanco his efforts don’t have a smooth path.

First, a disgruntled employee, Jose (Oscar de la Fuente), tries to approach Blanco to protest at his dismissal, which he considers unfair. Losing his job will result in Jose losing his home along with his family. Jose establishes a little camp just outside the factory.

Then Blanco’s friend and a top employee, Miralles (Manolo Solo) is distracted from his job as production manager because of his wife’s affair with another employee. Blanco steps in to help but is rejected by Miralles’ wife.

Blanco has an eye for young women whom he uses and then casts aside. However, in choosing a new intern, Liliana (Almudena Amor), he finds that he has met his match as she turns out to be the daughter of friends. She maneuvers herself into his life and gives Blanco a taste of his own medicine.

Bardem captures the two-faced boss in a superb characterisation. Backed by a high-calibre cast, de Aranoa manages to present a clever satire on the state of part of the business world.

In cinemas now and on Curzon Home Cinema