The Good Boss

The Good Boss ★★★★

In a just world, Parallel Mothers would’ve been Spain’s submission for International Feature and The Good Boss would’ve benefitted from any kind of push for Best Actor. The Good Boss is not so much in what happens around Javier Bardem’s Julio Blanco; The Good Boss is in Blanco’s reactions, in his facial expressions, in the quiet desperation of seeing everything he’s built (inherited) on the brink of falling apart and the validation of his scale factory’s “excellence”, the only thing he truly cares about, slip away. To lose control would be nothing. To hold onto it with everything you’ve got, to subtly try to cover the cracks that won’t stay hidden, to maintain your composure as you struggle to prevent your world from descending into chaos… that’s the real challenge, and, as Blanco, Bardem does it so charmingly and deliciously that it’s at times a challenge, too, to remember he’s playing a scumbag. Alas, if The Good Boss is anything to go by, there is no justice in a world ruled by Julio Blancos. Regardless, whether in the paralyzing cold of an evening open-air screening or in the sticky heat of a theater with no air conditioning at the beginning of a heat wave, The Good Boss delights with so much laughter you forget you’re either too cold or too hot. Maybe that’s its own kind of… EXCELENCIA.

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