The Good

Lars Von Trier shows that the years have not mellowed him at all.

The Bad

Sometimes this film got a little too zany for my tastes.

The Boss of It All, from director Lars Von Trier, tells the tale of modern day business practices and how they can often be skewed and rearranged to fit whatever circumstances happen to come up. Timely as can be this film focuses on an IT company and the owner who wants to exit and make a lot of money in the sale. The only problem with this is that said owner has created a fictional boss to carry out the hatchet work and other unpleasant duties that go on in the company. Well, the good news is that a sale is imminent but the people who want to buy the company want to meet the boss. So an actor is hired to simply carry out these proceedings, but anybody who follows Lars Von Trier movies knows that the proceedings are never that simple.

While I still think that Lars Von Trier's best film is Breaking the Waves, I dare say that The Boss of It All might be his most accessible. Given to a slapstick nature here and there one can draw a lot of allegories between this film and 80s movies like the Michael J. Fox comedy, The Secret of My Success.

Features

Featurettes

They have put 5 featurettes on this DVD. They are:

Mockumentaries

- The Actors (And the Journalist) Of It All

- The Foreigners Of It All

Featurettes

- The Making of The Boss of It All

- The Director of It All

- Automavision: The New Dogma

I have to admit that I stayed away from the Mockumentaries for one reason and one reason only, the language barrier all but precluded any understanding that I could have. There's something about having to get to subtly, irony and sarcasm from subtitles that really doesn't make for the easiest sort of movie going experience.

Of the featurettes that I checked out, the one that really caught my attention was the Automavision: The New Dogma featurette. As some may remember the Dogma rules came about in the late 1990s as a reaction to big budget filmmaking. There were all these things that the fillmakers had to do that ultimately ended up seeming more pretentious than anything else. Now, Automavision is a whole technical device (which is what I thought the Dogma films were trying to get away from), that allows for random placement of the camera. The director doesn't control the camera movement and Von Trier and company felt that this allowed them to experiment. It seems this allows them to make movies differently. Okay, all of this is well and good but truthfully it seems like another way to gain publicity, when it seems like these folks are perfectly capable of playing things straight and telling a straightforward story. Just a thought...

Video

4x3 Letterbox. Presented in a "Matted" widescreen format. Preserving the aspect ratio of its original theatrical exhibition. This movie looked fine but in hindsight I didn't see anything that special due to the implementation of the Automavision camera. The DVD compression was crisp and I never thought for a second that things were over compressed or anything like that. Some of the office shots that were set against windows did appear a little blown out, but aside from that I didn't notice anything else that caused me to take notice.

Audio

Language: Danish Mono. Subtitles: English and Spanish. Audio on a movie like this is hard to write about because I really couldn't pay attention to it. I spent so much of the film trying to keep up with the subtitles and the action on screen that, I am sad to say, I can't really say anything about the audio. It sounded fine but I truly don't remember anything about it.

Package

Jens Albinus, The Boss, is shown on this front cover in a black suit with a worker behind him throwing wadded up papers into a wastebasket. The back cover of this film showcases three images from it, a small description of what this movie is about, a Special Features listing, an ungodly long credits list and technical specs.

Final Word

I must admit that I waited awhile before screening this film because the last Lars Von Trier movie that I watched, Dancer in the Dark, really left me wanting. It isn't that Von Trier makes bad movies, but he makes difficult movies on the level of John Cassavetes. In fact, it is only when watching Von Trier movies that the language barrier and the reading of the subtitles seems to become a lot more pronounced. However, The Boss of It All stands out because of what it represents. I found that this movie really managed to stay on target for the most part. Yes, here and there it seemed to lapse into the usual Von Trier craziness, but overall I was happy to see that things were really played straight overall.

Boss of It All was released September 21, 2006.