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The Boss of It All (2006)

Jean-Marc Barr , Sofie Grbl , Lars von Trier  |  NR |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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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 (14 customer reviews)
  • 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.
  • ASIN: B000R7HY3C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,703 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deliberately Amateurish, but Funny All the Same. September 25, 2007
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A few things you should know about 'The Boss of It All' January 19, 2010
By A Customer
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dry, Dry Humor August 3, 2013
This Danish DVD is definitely not for most of you. But I know some of you like foreign films; while some of us get a kick out of actors and their "process"; and others are fans of the Danish director Lars von Trier ("Dogville" and "Dancer in the Dark").... If you fit any of these categories, have I got a film for you!

When I ordered it from the library, I asked for "The Boss of it All" but it shows up as "Direktoren for det hele" in IMDb and on other lists, so take your pick...

In a nutshell, a fellow with a Danish information technology company hires an actor to pretend to be the chronically absent president of the company just long enough to grant him power of attorney. That way he can sell the company to a hostile man from Iceland (who hates the Danes for 400 years of servitude!). The poor actor hasn't been very successful lately, so is desperate enough to give it a try. He's a little unsure of the ad lib aspect of the job, but agrees to do it.

When he attends his first meeting, one of the employees slugs him and things go downhill from there. One of the women says she can see through his disguise. He thinks his pretence has been uncovered but instead she says she knows he has been trying to hide his homosexuality in his e-mails and is prepared to show him how she can help him get over it. This is Scandinavian cinema, so naturally, he allows himself to be "shown."

He is very concerned about his lines and his timing, while the employees are very concerned about their JOBS! He becomes better acquainted with them and the situation... but then another character makes an entrance...

Suffice it to say, this is very, very dry humor, and the extras, which include a mockumentary, are hilarious...but only if you like exceedingly dry humor. I got my DVD from Amazon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Audio
This was recommended to us as being funny. Perhaps it is, but given that the audio sounds like it was recorded underwater using a Fisher-Price microphone in a subway car, I... Read more
Published 14 months ago by brainygirl
2.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone will find it funny.
This film is a situation comedy based on laughing at people in awkward situations. If you have a taste for that kind of thing than this movie is for you. Otherwise forget it.
Published 20 months ago by Citris1
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilaaaarious!
This movie is a hilarious crowd-pleaser. A little screwball, a little alternative. I've had many a skeptical friend that I've convinced to see this film and they all ended up... Read more
Published on February 14, 2012 by young urban professional
3.0 out of 5 stars The Joke Is You
Years ago when I was in Japan there were some odd cultural things that I never quite 'got', like television commercials for example. Read more
Published on July 27, 2011 by MadMacs
1.0 out of 5 stars I did try - but could not get through this very, very slow film
A film mocking corporate life, placed in one of my favorite countries, Denmark: I got this film with great anticipation for a good evening's entertainment. Read more
Published on November 12, 2010 by Mary McGreevey
2.0 out of 5 stars Movie for the eggheads
I think von Trier is proud of this film stylistically. But when it comes to fun, I do not find this movie very funny. It seems to be a movie for the movie wise heads. Read more
Published on July 6, 2010 by Rune Rindel Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Comedy; Funny and Biting
This film is absolutely brilliant. The owner of a company has been pretending to answer to a non-existent higher-up, 'The Boss of it All'. Read more
Published on December 15, 2009 by vitajex
4.0 out of 5 stars "Life is a Dogma film. It's hard to hear but the words are important."
"You have a knack for deliberate mental cruelty."
"You're right, but I'm better at being irritating on an intuitive level. Read more
Published on January 18, 2009 by Trevor Willsmer
3.0 out of 5 stars achieves some interest after a faltering first half
Ravn (Peter Gantzler) is a Danish entrepreneur who, due to an almost pathological need to be liked by everyone, has trouble effectively managing the employees who work for him. Read more
Published on June 28, 2008 by Roland E. Zwick
2.0 out of 5 stars one joke
I guess you could say I'm a Lars von Trier fan, this being the fifth film of his I've seen (the best by far is Breaking the Waves), but this one was an utter disappointment. Read more
Published on October 27, 2007 by jack lansbury
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