Lars von Trier knows how to dominate the headlines with radical and scandalous films like Antichrist, Nymphomaniac, Dancer in the Dark, Dogville or Breaking the Waves. Among all these the ‘Boss of it All’ could almost go unnoticed. It is however a very relevant and unique film that depicts our world of business. It is the story of an actor who is hired by a friend to act as CEO. Is it a good idea to bring in an actor as CEO we might wonder? For the actor his role is not perfectly clear, but with some experience in acting he tries to pull his way through. For the staff of the firm it is also quite strange, as they do not know the CEO, so anything he says or does must be for real. Meanwhile the friend of the actor, who happens to be the real boss tries to direct everything that happens. He finds out that this isn’t as easy as it appears to be, and that his friend, the actor and scapegoat, might not be the actor he appears to be. But is it just difficult for the actor, or is the role off the CEO, maybe any CEO, an impossible to start with? This is what the film seems to be wondering about. This might also be the case for the staff as actors, or the role of the grayish surroundings and settings in which the actors perform their roles. Is it even possible to act ‘naturally’ in such an environment? A world in which reality and appearance fuse indistinguishably. It might not be surprising that physical violence plays its part, and the viewer can wonder whether or not it is productive. In his very distinguished and signature style, which involves a very unusual montage technique which constantly cuts up time, almost like hiccups, Lars von Trier shows these events. He also fools around with the framing, What is allowed into the frame and outside of it. The imagery itself is comparable to that of the BBC series The Office, with its grim and grey imagery all locked up in disfunctioning grid-like structures. It shows how the seemingly rational gets disrupted by the poetry of acting.
Director: Lars von Trier
Duration: 99 min
Language: Danish (with English subtitles)