Movie Review: The Good Boss

What is the definition of a Good Boss? Someone who walks a very fine line between showing empathy and humanity for the people who work for him and is also someone who realizes that the overall good and financial health of the company is the most important thing?

The main idea behind of the new movie “The Good Boss”, starring Javier Bardem, is that trying to be every employee’s best friend, or their father will backfire for many reasons – starting with trying to absorb all of your problems, the inevitable issues with the company and the employee’s problem. This very soon becomes overwhelming and eventually bleeds into the health and well being of the company. Then, if the company fails, everybody loses their jobs after the company goes bankrupt. Being the boss over many people in most cases can be a lose-lose proposition of making the decisions and ultimate responsibility all the more challenging. This is why being a great boss will always be a very fine line between being in charge first and being a human being with empathy towards others you employ second.

This foreign film with subtitles is probably the only movie I have ever seen that completely focuses on the boss of a company – in this case a company that builds very accurate mechanical and electronic industrial scales. Blanco, played by Bardem throughout this very well told story, is constantly being attacked by one problem with an employee (one who is about to get divorced) and another fired employee who is protesting the company with a megaphone and posters outside the entrance to the factory. Making matters worse is Blanco himself making mistakes including having an affair with an intern and another one borne out of total desperation.

This film does a great job showing Blanco’s increasing frantic attempts to resolve all of these problems before a major inspection of the factory happens and his company receives a prestigious award. Several of his decisions are forced on him for the good of the company and others to save himself. The acting and the screenplay are both great throughout these engrossing 2 hours.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for The Good Boss are a very high 92% and I agree with this rating and highly recommend this film.

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