I'm not sure if Lars von Trier's new film, The Boss of it All, is intended to follow strict Dogme dogma, but it doesn't seem to. The very first thing we see is the director himself, rising up on a camera dolly outside of the office building where the action will take place, introducing the film to the audience and giving us an overview of what we're about to see. That would seem to be a violation of both rule number six, discouraging superficiality, and rule number ten, advising against crediting the director. Whatever the philosophy, though, the film is a success, a refreshing change from the ponderous 'Grace trilogy' of which the third part, Wasington, has apparently been shelved pending either a script rewrite or Nicole Kidman's recommitment to the main role. With The Boss of it All, von Trier turns his attention back to his own side of the Atlantic and finds his faith in humanity just as lacking, and his comic timing as sharp as its ever been. The Danish subtitles do nothing to slow down the laughs.
We begin inside the office building, with a non-disclosure agreement being signed between two men, one a smiling corporate suit, Ravn (Peter Gantzler) and the other an actor, Kristoffer, (Jens Albinus) who is clearly down on his luck. It turns out that Ravn wants to hire Kristoffer to play the titular 'boss of it all' -- the fictional head of the company of which Ravn is a director. Up until now, Ravn has been telling his increasingly disgruntled employees that the real decision maker of the company -- the guy they should be angry at, instead of him -- is this 'boss' who is running things from far away in the U.S. Now Ravn is on the verge of selling his company for a big profit, but the buyer understandably insists on meeting this much talked-about 'boss' and having him show up to sign the papers himself. The buyer is a bitter, stone-faced Icelander, while Kristoffer is a blubbery Danish softy who, owing to his profession, is given to long-winded speeches, as opposed to getting down to business.