Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

The Method 2005

El Método, aka The Grönholm Method

Directed by Marcelo Piñeyro

Seven executives compete in a boardroom until the last suit standing gets the job in this suavely savage corporate thriller that makes Neil La Bute seem sentimental.

Argentina / Italy / Spain In English and Spanish with English subtitles
115 minutes 35mm



Mateo Gil
Marcelo Piñeyro. Based on the play by Jordi Galcerán Ferrer


Alfredo Mayo


Iván Aledo


Frédéric Bégin
Phil Electric


Eduardo Noriega
Najwa Nimri
Eduard Fernández
Pablo Echarri
Ernesto Alterio
Carmelo Gómez
Adriana Ozores
Natalia Verbeke


Toronto, Vancouver 2005; San Francisco 2006


Suavely savage, cinematic and pulsing with self-assurance, The Method takes the simplest of scenarios – seven executives, with markedly different styles, compete for the same top job – and turns it into a gripping corporate thriller that makes Neil La Bute seem overly sentimental. The title, The Method, refers to the Grönholm Method, a fictitious selection process supposedly imported from the United States that positions the contenders in direct competition with one another until the last suit standing gets the job. To make matters even more challenging, there doesn’t seem to be anyone directing the proceedings, apart from a bank of computer screens and a smiling but slippery receptionist. As the candidates are put through their paces, including a hypothetical situation in which they must choose who among them would be the least useful in a post-apocalyptic bunker, the psychological and even sexual power-play increases to the point of warfare. Meanwhile, outside the boardroom, anti-globalisation protestors gather on the streets of Madrid for a day of riots against the IMF. We never see the protesters, nor do their chants penetrate the thick glass walls of the boardroom, but their presence provides a constant backdrop of disquiet to underscore the filmmakers’ agenda. From the director of Kamchatka. — Bianca Zander

“Piñeyro’s film is a trenchant, disturbing take on the culture of power, greed and self-interest that is the modus operandi for today’s global politics and economics. It is also an immensely suspenseful, high-stakes drama of what human beings are willing to do for money and prestige, as well as the Janus-faced personas that they must create in order to compete.” — Jonathan Davies, The Festival Daily