The Good Boss (2022)
Básculas Blanco, a Spanish company manufacturing industrial scales in a provincial Spanish town, awaits the imminent visit of a local business award committee which holds its fate in their hands. Everything must be perfect when the time comes. Working against the clock, the company’s proprietor, Blanco (Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men, Dune) pulls out all the stops to address and resolve issues with his employees, crossing every imaginable line in the process. For one, Blanco’s childhood friend Miralles (Manolo Solo) is making expensive mistakes. Miralles confesses things are not great at home and his wife Aurora (Mara Gull) is asking him for space. Sensing trouble, Blanco begins meddling in their lives — subtly at first, then more blatantly. To complicate things further, attractive new intern Liliana (Almudela Amor) catches Blanco’s eye. Ever the opportunist (and the creep), he hatches a plan to seduce her. But in all these intricate dealings, it’s often not clear exactly who is manipulating who.
With his hair dyed a solid gray and shaped into a perfect men-of-a-certain-age blowout, Bardem introduces a new slick slimeball of a character into his repertoire of charmingly evil men with his latest collaboration with Spanish director Fernando León de Aranoa (Loving Pablo). Considering its rather weighty subject matter, it’s startling that this dark workplace dramedy manages to be funny, winning and so satisfying a watch.
Spanish w. English subtitles