On The Good Boss, Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem reteamed with filmmaker Fernando León de Aranoa to examine “the abuse of power that some people have in their relationships with others,” from the perspective of an abuser.
In the Spanish-language dark comedy distributed by Cohen Media Group, Bardem stars as Blanco, a charismatic but controlling factory boss who will go to extreme lengths to protect the world he has created for himself, and to stop his affairs with interns from being exposed to his wife.
Bardem noted during his appearance Sunday at Deadline’s Contenders Film: Los Angeles event at the DGA Theater that his performance was inspired by research and reflection on people “like Harvey Weinstein,” who are applauded by society for their intelligence and business acumen, up until to the point when their abuses of power are finally called out.
De Aranoa joined Bardem and moderator Dominic Patten via satellite, reflecting for his part on the joy in reteaming with Bardem following their collaborations on 2017’s Loving Pablo and 2002’s Mondays in the Sun, and the “mix of humor and darkness” he pursued with his latest film, which he felt “could be very interesting for the audience and for myself.”
Bardem, who appeared at Contenders earlier in the day on a panel for Being the Ricardos, noted that it was “amazing” to be on the same stage over the course of one day with both Ricardos writer-director Aaron Sorkin and De Aranoa, who he considers to be “two of the most amazing screenwriters” he’s ever worked with.
This year, The Good Boss is Spain’s official Oscar entry for Best International Feature film, which Bardem called “an honor.” The film premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival, going on to screen at the Zurich Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival. It opened in Spain on October 15, with Cohen Media Group acquiring U.S. rights earlier this month.
De Aranoa produced the pic with Jaume Rores. Pilar de Heras, Eva Garrido, Patricia de Muns and Javier Méndez exec produced, with Marisa Fernández Armenteros and Carles Montiel serving as co-executive producers.
Check out the panel video above.
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