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The Boss of It All

16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The owner of an IT firm wants to sell up. The trouble is that when he started his firm he invented a nonexistent company president to hide behind when unpopular steps needed taking. When potential purchasers insist on negotiating with the "Boss" face to face the owner has to take on a failed actor to play the part. The actor suddenly discovers he is a pawn in a game that goes on to sorely test his (lack of) moral fiber.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Marc Barr, Sofie Grbl, Anders Hove, Fridrik Thr Fridriksson, Jens Albinus
  • Directors: Lars von Trier
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000R7HY3C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,224 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 25, 2007
Format: DVD
Danish director Lars von Trier gets experimental again in "The Boss of It All", but this time he aims to make us laugh. This corporate comedy sends up actors, artistic pretensions, and the venerable tradition of passing the buck. Mr. Ravn (Peter Gantzler) founded a successful technology company but was loath to take on the role of President. So he invented a fictional company president who is always abroad, concealing his true role even from the company's "six seniors", its first and most valuable employees. Now Ravn needs to close a deal with an Icelandic businessman who insists on dealing with the President. So Ravn hires Kristoffer (Jens Albinus), an out-or work actor of little talent and many pretensions, to be the President for a week.

This absurd set-up creates ample opportunity for hilarity: The staff is easily convinced that Kristoffer is President despite his ignorance and inarticulate prattle. He must negotiate conversations with the six seniors, who have each been given a different impression of him by Gavn, without letting on that he doesn't know them. He gradually comes to realize that Gavn created the President to take the blame for his unpopular decisions, while Gavn took credit for more generous policies. The men are more alike than Kristoffer would like to think, as they both crave attention and acceptance. "The Boss of It All" is insightful, comical, and almost believable.

The film doesn't look good, though. Lars von Trier employed Automavision to frame all the shots. In other words, he let a computer decide where to put the camera. "Decide" might not be the best word. The computer selects randomly.
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Format: DVD
Danish auteur Lars von Trier turns his acidic wit to office politics, with the overall message that while the true boss of it all that really runs the show is money, capitalism American style, what most of us really want is not the truth but a convenient and self-serving fiction. Along the way von Trier dishes up a scenario that is endlessly inventive and hilarious -- and that in its ruthless look at the stupidity of bureaucracy harks back to his underseen television miniseries Riget/Kingdom. As in that series, he includes himself directly here as a narrator to comment on his approach and on his expectations from the audience -- reminding us both directly and indirectly that his aim is not to please or to edify but to exploit and manipulate and offend at the same time as he entertains. This is a lighter, and less ambitious, project than anything he has done for a while, but it is no less intriguing for that.

As in many of his films, where he deliberately imposes upon himself a specific constraint (as in his Dogme film "The Idiots" or as in "Dogville" and "Manderlay" where he gets rid of the sets, or as he imposes upon his teacher Jorgen Leth in "The Five Obstructions), he set up a very specific constraint upon himself in the making of this film that defines in large part its style and look. He made use of a technology dubbed "Automavision" -- a camera whose angle and exposure are set randomly by computer -- and the effect is to add a jumpy and kinetic quality to the film that goes against the standard Hollywood style continuity editing and includes jump cuts and non-matching lighting, etc. Somehow it works, in part because of the strength of the acting and the script, but in part because the awkwardness of the style seems to match the story perfectly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2010
Format: DVD
I was interested to see what Lars von Trier's take on comedy would be. From the cover I expected something resembling a Danish version of Ricky Gervais' 'The Office', and in some ways it is - 'cringe humour' is an accurate description.

The plot revolves around an out of work actor who is hired to impersonate the (non-existent) boss of an IT firm by Ravn, the firm's real owner. The actor is well and truly thrown in the deep end, and watching him succumb to Ravn's machinations provides most of the laughter.

Ravn used 'the boss' as a scapegoat over the years, whenever he made a decision his empoyees didn't like. One woman's husband hanged himself after 'the boss' made him redundant. Worse, Ravn has told each staff member different things about him.

The ending, without giving it away, is a very funny send up of actors and the acting profession.

Unlike some viewers I was fine with von Trier's use of automavision to film this, the only thing that did annoy me being the directors 'ironic' interjections at several points in the movie. I thought von Trier would have been above the use of trendy contrived irony, but apparently not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MadMacs on July 27, 2011
Format: DVD
Years ago when I was in Japan there were some odd cultural things that I never quite 'got', like television commercials for example. Some were so strange that, often, I couldn't and didn't grasp what they were advertising. Certainly language plays a part in that murkiness, but when two cartoon elephants crapped out bits of a car that reassembled itself and drove away with a happy customer - I had to wonder. The next morning I asked what it meant and was told it was a commercial for some type of soft drink.

(blink)

:-\

(blink)

Some things just don't translate.

Direktøren, a Dutch film renamed 'The Boss Of It All' for markets outside Scandinavian countries, neatly fits into this odd cultural chasm.

It seems, at least to this American, that the film is acutely bizarre and the plot seemingly spun from some unwired stream of consciousness; more experimental film than the purported comedy which is hawked by Amazon's plot synopsis. Admittedly, there are humorous stylistic elements of The Office interwoven into the screenplay. But unlike that sharp edged comedy, this film is lost in its own inner navel. Made more evident when the film's director unexpectedly and repeatedly cuts himself into the movie to give us insight to his filmmaking and concepts of story.

Having read the reviews only after screening the movie, I had no idea this was born from a film auteur. Had not heard the name Lars von Trier previously, who is known for his unorthodox productions. In truth, had I known that from the get-go, I would've chosen not to rent the film. Generally speaking, the film elitist and arthouse body tend to gravitate toward the bizarre and pointless - typically my cue to exit a side door as quickly as possible. Life is just too short.
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