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The Boss of it All [DVD] [2006]

Henrik Prip , Fred Thor Fredriksson , Lars Von Trier    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Price: £10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Boss of it All [DVD] [2006] + The Five Obstructions [DVD] + Manderlay [DVD] [2007]
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Product details

  • Actors: Henrik Prip, Fred Thor Fredriksson, Peter Gantzler, Iben Hjejle, Jens Albinus
  • Directors: Lars Von Trier
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Diffusion Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Jun 2008
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001716E2E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,253 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"You have a knack for deliberate mental cruelty."
"You're right, but I'm better at being irritating on an intuitive level."

With his often unlikely plotting, emphasis on stripped-down style over structure and fascination with stripping away the suspension of disbelief of most films to highlight their artificiality, it's fair to say that Lars Von Trier isn't to everyone's taste. After films like Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark he also seems an unlikely candidate to try his hand at a comedy, but the mischievous sense of humour that's run through his work since the TV series The Kingdom finds a perfect outlet in The Boss of it All. The plot might seem almost as if it could do service as a mainstream Hollywood comedy, but in many ways it's the perfect match of premise and filmmaker.

Gambini-obsessed bad actor Kristoffer (Jens Albnus) is hired by Ravn (Peter Gantzler) to pretend to be the boss of the company he's planning to sell. Ravn has been the real boss of the company for years, but is so desperate to be liked by his staff that the only way he can pass on bad news is by blaming it all on an invisible owner in America. Despite the fact that at first Kristoffer reads far more into the text than there is ("It says far more than it says" he notes of his underwritten part: "I had hoped it would say as little as possible," replies the whiz-at-contracts Ravn), unfortunately, Ravn's so desperate not to be disliked that he doesn't fill Kristoffer in on the full script, expecting the hapless actor to improvise his way through a minefield of imaginary relationships the staff have created with him over the years.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Horror of it all 20 Jun 2008
By wabrit
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The director Lars Von Trier has carved out a reputation for idiosyncratic misanthropy, seemingly eager to put his audience (and frequently, his unfortunate heroines) through the emotional wringer in such films as "Breaking the Waves", "Dancer in the Dark" and "Dogville", whilst setting himself technical constraints such as the Dogme 95 rules, which included such dictates as "The film must not contain superficial action. (Murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)" and "The camera must be a hand-held camera".

So this film at first sight looks like a change of direction - it's a comedy and it doesn't hold to the Dogme 95 rules. The basic plot line is simple; a cowardly company boss hires an actor to pretend to be the real boss so he doesn't have to be the one who apparently does the all unpopular things that bosses do. From this von Trier spins a comedy of anguish & embarrassment which skewers the foibles of human nature very effectively; although I suspect that some of the jokes will hit their mark only if you are familiar with Danish office life, for the most part the film succeeded in making me laugh (albeit in an uneasy way).

Similarities to the TV series "The Office" don't really go as deep as might appear from the subject matter. And as the events of the plot unfold (which I won't go into, since that would spoil the experience for others) it's clear that the film isn't really such a departure from von Trier's preoccupations as would first appear; he even dallies with technical constraints again but this time in form of a camera technique called Automavision (which involves a computer selecting camera angles and movements) and periodically interrupts the narrative with directorial asides about the film.

If all this makes the film sound a bit dry, don't be put off. It's a satisfying bleak comedy with some nice mordant wit.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Office meets Faking It 30 May 2008
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to admit that for the first 5-10mins I wasn't sure what was going on at all and had a thumb hovering over the eject button, but as the film rolled on I was engaged by this dialogue driven film.
Though a comedy, this isn't a Will Ferrell type of comedy. The humour is very subtle and can come out delayed to those of us relying on subtitles.

The story itself pretty much is The Office meets Faking It, where a man tries to act as 'the boss of it all' in a company with characters who are pretty similar to those you'd find in Ricky Gervais' company, if not more magnified.
The camera work adds a subtle real-view feeling to the film which makes it almost believable as a real event, almost entirely contained within the confines of an office.

There are some interesting narrative breaks by Lars himself which help to make the film a little bit clever and quirky, but not in a pretentious way. Even Jan Albinus' character reveals some of the possible eccentricities of some actors. There is definitely an innocent sense of fun exuding here.

This film is definitely re-watchable. And I think it's best enjoyed by watching it at least twice to trace over anything you might've missed.

Special features include cast and director interviews and a very very brief (almost pointless) photo gallery, and an 'okay' short film that Diffusion are bundling with titles to support independent artists.

I do think however the main feature should've been give the Hollywood treatment (if in style rather than actors and location) as it deserves being more than a cult thing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique, For Better or Worse
The most accessible film of Von Triers I have watched, a much more comfortable watch than Dogville certainly. Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2009 by Mr. T. Brandon
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing something
The Boss of It All and I didn't see quite eye-to-eye. The concept for the film is good and has clear comic potential - Ravn is the boss and owner of an IT company, but has invented... Read more
Published on 25 Sep 2008 by R. W. Mackenzie
4.0 out of 5 stars Another way of doing comedy
"The Boss of it all" is an office comedy set in a Danish company whose boss, Ravn, has concealed the fact that he is the boss from his workers by inventing an overseas president. Read more
Published on 28 Aug 2008 by G. Brack
3.0 out of 5 stars Light Danish humour
Lars Von Trier has made some extremely provocative movies in recent years, ("Dogville" and "Dancer In The Dark" spring to mind) but with "The Boss Of It All" he has proven that he... Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2008 by Rocky McShanty
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite lost in translation
Watching a film with subtitles is always tricky, but something in The Boss of it All overcame this. Since so much of the film is related to overlapping reality and pretence,... Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2008 by Simon Thomas
2.0 out of 5 stars A good plot for a comedy ... but somehow didn't catch my attention
In this comedy the plot is wonderful, an actor who is hired to play the boss in a real office has so many funny elements! Read more
Published on 9 Aug 2008 by David Calcano
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious take on office life.
Lars von Trier pops up a number of times through this movie, seen in reflection behind the camera peering through the office window. Read more
Published on 27 July 2008 by doublegone
3.0 out of 5 stars The Boss of It All
A quirky, unusual film which focuses on the office environment for laughs. I spend all day sat in an office and don't particularly want to spend my leisure time looking at other... Read more
Published on 17 July 2008 by Ash
3.0 out of 5 stars Dryly Amusing
This film has quite a decent premise but for me was hindered by slow pacing and just the all round cross cultural oddness of it. Read more
Published on 11 July 2008 by I Am Tyler Durden
2.0 out of 5 stars Conventional - if wonky - workplace satire from Lars Von Trier
Very orthodox workplace satire from Lars von Trier of all people (he of Dancer in the Dark and The Idiots fame) about a Danish IT company that hires an actor to play the imaginary... Read more
Published on 11 July 2008 by Andrew Sutherland
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