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The Boss of It All

A comedy about an

Lars von Trier must be mellowing in his old age – this is a delightful farce with a frequently hilarious script and strong comic performances.Peter Gantzler plays Ravn, the beleaguered owner of an IT company who decides it’s time to sell up. There’s only one problem: when he started the company, he created a non-existent boss (to hide behind when unpopular decisions had to be made) and now the humourless Icelandic buyer, Finnur (Fridrik Thor Fridriksson) wants to deal with the boss of it all in person. In desperation, Ravn hires the dopey Kristoffer (Jens Albinus), a failed actor, to pretend to be the boss throughout the negotiations. However, Kristoffer really throws himself into the role, forging complicated relationships with the loyal staff and questioning his character’s motivation at every turn. Von Trier’s blackly comic script is frequently laugh-out-loud funny and there are lots of jokes at the expense of pretentious or overly neurotic actors, as well as some subtle digs at IT companies and their incomprehensible jargon. Albinus is both hilarious and infuriating as Kristoffer and there’s also strong support from Iben Hjejle and from Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, whose anti-Danish rants are a comic highlight. Of course, this wouldn’t be a Lars von Trier film without a spot of perversity or two and he duly uses a couple of directorial tricks. In the first, he appears as an omniscient narrator, occasionally interrupting to draw attention to the fact that this is only a film. The second is more interesting and certainly distinctive, but in my opinion doesn’t really add anything. He uses an automatic randomised camera (in a process called Automavision), which throws up occasionally weird angles and shots in which the actors’ heads are at the bottom of the frame. Even if the directorial tricks don’t quite payoff this film is hilarious from start to finish.Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

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Directed by: 
Lars von Trier
Running Time: 
Danish, Icelandic, English and Russian with English subtitles
Jens Albinus, Peter Gantzler, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Benedikt Erlingsson, Iben Hjejle
Screenplay by: 
Lars von Trier

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