Bardem’s performance, as a man who has spent a lifetime hiding his unethical behaviour behind the veneer of patrician affability and who seems to have lost his feel for what’s right and wrong, has a depth and complexity that seems to come from somewhere else.
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It’s a decently constructed piece of fluff that is way too soft to exert any real lasting impact. Yet the reason to see it is for Bardem’s masterful, completely committed lead turn. The real comedy gold comes from his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it expressions and mannerisms that usually come when he’s listening to other people talk.
At two hours, rather intricately stuffed with subplots ranging from frivolous to grimly consequential, “The Good Boss” struggles to pick up the pace when required: The laughs are there, but more spaced out than they could be.
There’s lots on the menu, and León de Aranoa brings it all together in a smooth manner. But the jokes tend to be too broad, and the themes too tritely handled.
An impressively slick and slimy performance from Javier Bardem is the standout selling point for this serviceable if (perhaps appropriately?) workaday satire on corporate corruption and alienated capitalism.
The raffish charisma and sinister, saturnine handsomeness of Javier Bardem is what raises this movie above the standard of soap-opera … mostly.