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  • Directed by: Fernando León de Aranoa
  • Cast: Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor
  • Country: Spain
  • Year: 2022
  • Duration: 120min
  • Certificate: 15

‘Hard Work, Balance, Loyalty’ are the values proudly inscribed on the walls of successful industrial scales company Basculas Blanco. Boss and community bigwig Blanco (Javier Bardem) promotes himself as a father figure to his staff-as-family. However, just as his factory is shortlisted for a local business award, Blanco quickly turns abusive parent while having to firefight potential catastrophes – a sacked employee’s public protest, his right-hand man’s marital breakdown, his own misjudged fling with an intern.

His devious, desperate schemes generate the film’s escalating, wickedly black humour, expertly calibrated by writer-director Fernando Léon de Aranoa. Wonderful, too, to see Bardem centre stage again, embodying the toxic, entitled Blanco, whose mentality continues to make the modern corporate world so fertile a country for rich old men. -London Film Festival

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