• Golden Globe Awards

The Good Boss (Spain)

The words “Effort, Equilibrium, Loyalty” were painted in red on the warehouse wall of Básculas Blanco, one of Spain´s leading manufacturers of professional-grade scales.
That´s the motto that owner Julian Blanco wants to instill in his employees. Básculas Blanco has been selected as a finalist in the yearly award for business excellence. A special committee is visiting them soon so that a winner can be picked between all three companies in competition. A great strategy is drawn, visiting judges must be entertained in a way that will show them the most commendable aspects of the firm.
However, circumstances will conspire against the charismatic and resolute Blanco. He rules over his staff with a seduce and destroy strategy, patronizing them and then casting them off when they no longer serve his needs. The businessman will have to face, in an anxious race against the clock, a multitude of circumstances that would tarnish the good image of the business, from the womanizing tendencies of some workers to the friction created by a recently fired employee who has decided to stage a protest in front of the factory gates. There is also a young intern who becomes pure temptation for predator Blanco. On his journey the boss might find out that money cannot buy everything, no matter how hard he tries.
Twenty years ago, Spanish director Fernando León de Aranoa brought us Mondays in the Sun (Los lunes al sol) the story of a group of unemployed Galician workers well over forty years of age but with little hope of finding a new job after the closure of a shipyard where they worked. With The Good Boss, Aranoa brings us the other side of the coin, the owner of a medium-sized company who is capable of the most amoral acts in order to safeguard his reputation.
In both cases he counted on Golden Globe winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) to tell the story. But there are changes in tone and perspective: Bardem has gone from being unemployed to becoming a businessman, while Leon de Aranoa moved from working-class dramedy to satire. The challenge for the director was very clear. He didn´t want Bardem´s character to end up a caricature. “The best thing I can do for an actor is to give him a good character. I just accompanied him in his journey, which is his, and try not to get in the way.”
When it came to creating the paternalistic Julio Blanco, Bardem stated that he didn´t have any particular individual in mind but that the viewer “can see recognizable elements in this environment. There are many ´good bosses in all venues of society. We all have a share of power and we must be alert to the abuse we may inflict with it.”
The Good Boss just received a record 20 nominations across 17 categories at Spain´s Goya Awards and is Spain´s Oscar entry.