New York-based Cohen Media Group has acquired all U.S. rights to Javier Bardem-starrer “The Good Boss” (“El Buen Patrón”), Spain’s submission to the international feature film Oscars race at the 2022 Academy Awards.
The deal was negotiated by CMG senior VP Robert Aaronson and Fionnuala Jamison, managing director, MK2, which is handling international sales on the film.
Written and directed by Fernando León de Aranoa, “The Good Boss” world premiered at September’s San Sebastián Festival, where it was one of the best received of main competition films, critics especially highlighting Bardem’s central performance.
Released by Tripictures in Spain, it has grossed €1.64 million ($1.9 million) after its first three weekends, a resilient result in a still under-performing Spanish box office.
A workplace satire which says much about how corporate identity has eviscerated family and human relations in a modern world, “The Good Boss” stars a once more remarkably coiffured Bardem – here, his hair a bouffant gray blowout. Bardem plays Blanco, the soft-spoken patriarch of Básculas Blanco, a industrial scale manufacturer in a provincial Spanish town which is a candidate for a regional award for business excellence.
Blanco begins the film preaching to his employees that the company is family. He’s charismatic enough for many to buy into his rhetoric. But Blanco will cross every imaginable line in his drive to eliminate any tarnish to his company’s image – a protesting fired worker, an unbalanced foreman, Miralles, a seduced intern – in the run-up to the award.
The character’s “a very charismatic person, and he really has to be to influence people the way he does. That’s a common denominator among the real examples. They’ve got charisma, and sometimes charismatic people are forgiven too much,” Bardem told Variety at San Sebastián.
Director León de Aranoa described the film “a comedy crafted with the raw materials of drama, crossed by the charismatic personality of its main character, prodigiously interpreted by Javier Bardem.”
“The Good Boss” also stars Manolo Solo as Miralles, and Almudena Amor in a breakthrough perf as attractive new intern Liliana. Further cast takes in Óscar de la Fuente, Sonia Almarcha, Fernando Albizu, Tarik Rmili, Rafa Castejón, Celso Bugallo, Martín Páez and Yael Belicha.
The film is produced by León de Aranoa’s, Jaume Roures and Javier Méndez for Reposado P.C. and The Mediapro Studio, in association with MK2.
“Fernando León de Aranoa has delivered a pitch perfect social satire with a leading role tailor-made for Javier Bardem. We can’t wait to bring ‘The Good Boss’ to American audiences,” said Aaronson.
Jaume Roures, co-CEO of The Mediapro Studio, remarked: “Fernando Leon has written and directed a great film, masterfully played by Javier Bardem. ‘The Good Boss’ is a masterpiece that reunites the same team who created “Mondays in the Sun,” raising issues and situations that are very common in any country in the world; the power relations established between a ‘good boss’ like Blanco and his work, family and social environment.”