Review Javier Bardem owns it as scaly but stylish patron in Spanish film, The Good Boss (El buen patrón)

I tend to associate Spanish actor Javier Bardem as the thug/villain/assassin such as the Bond baddie in Skyfall – opposite Daniel Craig. Of course, this hugely versatile actor has done a vast range of films but it is the thug that somehow pops into my mind. Watching him in The Good Boss (Spanish: El buen patrón) is a revelation as he delivers a nuanced and brilliantly measured performance as the boss of a factory which makes industrial scales.  I found the film too long (by half an hour), with an unnecessarily convoluted plot and overdone clownish side-characters but I nevertheless enjoyed it immensely. Bardem is a treat in this film – owning the story. Unlike many of the other characters, he does not descend into cliché.  His wardrobe is like another character and through clothes, a vivid portrait is conjured up of this boss dude who is impeccably stylishly attired, chic, urbane and yet scaly and conniving.

This Spanish film (English subtitles) has done exceptionally well, commercially and received a record-breaking 20 nominations to the Goya Awards – winning six awards – best picture, director, actor, original screenplay, score and editing. The Goya Awards are widely regarded as Spain’s equivalent of the Academy Awards. The Good Boss is screening online at the European Film Festival South Africa- hybrid festival – cinemas and online- October 13 to 23, 2022.  Info here: Booking:

✳ Featured image supplied by European Film Festival (SA).