FunAstrology"The Perfect Boss" with Javier Bardem in top form

"The Perfect Boss" with Javier Bardem in top form

Created: 07/27/2022 Updated: 7/27/2022 5:24 p.m

"Der perfekte Chef"
Javier Bardem as Julio Blanco in a scene from The Perfect Boss. © -/Alamode/dpa

This film was Spain’s 2022 Oscar nomination and has won many awards in its home country. No wonder: Javier Bardem shows great comedic talent in this social satire about working life.

Berlin – Many cinema viewers know Javier Bardem primarily as a bully. Be it in “No Country for Old Men”, for which the Spaniard won an Oscar, in James Bond’s “Skyfall” or “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

The 53-year-old has long since shown that he can also play completely different roles. And that, although he was once reduced primarily to his body – at least that’s how he recently described it himself.

“They asked me to take off my t-shirt and then they gave me the part,” he said of his first audition at the Cannes Film Festival in May. “I started out as a piece of meat, and gradually became an actor.”

Long ago. Bardem is now in demand as a character actor, as well as a Hollywood star, and popular with film audiences for his laid-back performances. With “The Perfect Boss” Bardem has now shot another film in his home country – and has added a whole new character to his portfolio.

In the social satire he plays the successful boss of a family business named Julio Blanco. At first he seems likeable, approachable, always interested in solving the problems of his employees (“We are one big family”). Very slowly and subliminally, however, more and more unpleasant sides of him become apparent.

Blanco is very busy as head of an industrial scales company. Things are going quite well and Blanco’s company is among the three finalists for the district government’s Business Excellence award. But shortly before the award committee is due to come to the company to make a decision (no one knows exactly when), chaos erupts in various nooks and crannies in the company.

The employee José does not want to accept that he was made redundant. That’s why he and his two small children set up a protest camp in the immediate vicinity of the company entrance, complete with insulting banners and a megaphone. At some point the press will take notice of him.

Meanwhile, the production manager, Miralles, has relationship troubles and is therefore confusing the company with incorrect orders and other logistical mistakes. Blanco wants to help him solve his marital problems in order to end the chaos – so he spies on Miralles’ wife together with him and takes him to a strip club as a distraction.

He finds out that an internal affair between Miralles and the executive secretary was the trigger for the crisis. In response, Miralles’ wife now has something going on with another employee. Blanco definitely wants to stop that.

Keyword extramarital affairs: at some point Blanco starts one himself. With Liliana, the new intern from Marketing. What he only finds out afterwards: She is not only maniacally in love with him. But also the daughter of friends.

Things get out of control. Also with the former employee José, who does not leave his warehouse despite numerous attempts by Blanco and at some point uses the historic scales representatively set up at the entrance to the company as a toilet because he is not allowed on the one in the company. Above all this looms the threat of a visit from the committee. The nerves are stretched to the breaking point.

In Spain, “The Perfect Chef” has won many prizes and was also submitted for the “Best International Feature Film” at the Oscars 2022. Understandable: the film by director Fernando León De Aranoa captivates with black humor and cynical social criticism.

And with a bardem in top form. With a blow-dried hairstyle, a neat shirt collar, imperturbably raised eyebrows and an always perfect shave, he breathes life into this unpleasant boss. That this man is not a sympathetic character is never presented to us overtly by Bardem, but with a lot of subtle wit. If you want to know where this actor’s talent lies, you just have to watch the final scene of this film. Bardem manages to get the laughter stuck in your throat.

Der perfekte Chef, Spanien 2021, 120 Minutes, FSK ab 12, von Fernando León De Aranoa, with Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor dpa

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