The Archimedes Principle, 2004

The Archimedes Principle of buoyancy states that a body submerged in fluid is acted upon by a force equal to that of the displaced fluid. It is this law of displacement and macrocosmic neutralization that seemingly governs the life of a rising, junior executive named Sonia as well who, unable to find a babysitter one evening, decides to call on her friend and stay-at-home neighbor Rocio and in return, offers to send her freelancing résumé to upper management for possible permanent placement within the agency. Frustrated by her company’s increasingly inequitable demands (a sales conglomerate appropriately named Albatross) and troubled over her neglect for her son (appeasing her conscience with by constantly buying him new pajamas), Sonia’s life soon reaches an unexpected turning point when Rocio’s performance and uncompromising work ethic – along with her fluency in Italian – impresses her superiors and puts her career on an even faster track to upper management in preparation for a multi-national venture, ahead of Sonia. From a screenplay by novelist Belen Gopegui, Gerardo Herrero’s The Archimedes Principle is a clever and lighthearted, but incisive, elegantly choreographed, and acutely observed portrait of the complex (and often obscured) interrelation between corporate and interpersonal machinations that, unlike Robert Solis’ similarly focused complex social dynamics in Grande école, manages to infuse a sense of humanity, acceptance, and understanding (and even understated humor) even to the most egregious acts of conscious, personal betrayal.

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