Ocean’s 8

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has an annual gala to celebrate its epic costume exhibits. It’s the most exclusive party in town, and guests compete to see which top-tier designer will outfit them. It’s a parade of jaw-dropping gowns and over the top accessories worn by the biggest celebrities who don’t mind being incredibly uncomfortable for an evening. It’s paparazzo heaven, and whoever dons the most shocking and exquisite dress WILL make the front page of every magazine and newspaper the next day. I live for this shit: the shoes, the jewels, the blatant disregard for theme. The MET gala is an institution. And it’s a fucking lot of fun to watch some badass women rob the damn thing.

Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, Danny’s sister who’s fresh off a 5-year stint in the slammer. That’s 5 whole years she’s had of dedicated heist planning, so on the day of her release, she hits the ground running, and the first place she runs to is her old friend and MV5BMzk0M2Y0YWQtZWVlYy00MGU2LTk1NmQtOGRlYWM4ODhlYjkwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc5OTMwOTQ@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1502,1000_AL_partner Lou (Cate Blanchett) who doesn’t need much convincing. The plan is not to rob the museum, but to rob the neck of famous actress and red carpet savant Daphne (Anne Hathaway) of the 6lbs\$150 million dollars worth of diamonds that will be hanging there ever so tantalizingly.  Who could resist? Debbie and Lou assemble a crack team including a jeweler (Mindy Kaling), a hacker (Rihanna), a soccer mom fence (Sarah Paulson), and a master of the sleight of hand (Awkwafina) to pull off the ultimate crime.

When Ghostbusters got an all-female reboot, sad little cockmuppets cried that their childhoods had been ruined. It seemed like there was less vitriol for an all-female version of Ocean’s, perhaps because the Ocean’s fans are adults rather than manbabies suckling at the teat of nostalgia. Still, I couldn’t help but be sad when Debbie herself justifies her all-female team: women are far more likely to be overlooked.

Ocean’s 8 is good but not great. It’s a heist movie and you’ll never question where it’s going, but the fun is how it gets there. And there is some fun here. Helena Bonham Carter, splendidly cast as a kooky designer, has the time of her life. Anne Hathaway, who I normally cannot stand, earns some laughs with her starlet parody. And Cate Blanchett, hooo-eeee, let’s just sit here and ignore the fact that I’m about to objectify her, big time. Those bangs. Wispy blonde bangs that fall into her eyelashes just so. She’s constantly blinking under their weight, and I’m constantly imagining how I might sweep them away for her. Knock me over, knock me right over.

But with nearly every ensemble, my complaint is similar: just not enough time with all of my favourites. Sarah Paulson is a working mother conwoman, a criminal type we do not often glimpse in Hollywood’s depiction of the underworld, and Paulson’s talent is so enormous she maximizes her screen time and paints her character with charisma and relatability. Mindy Kaling is effervescent but underused. Newcomer Awkwafina has clearly got star power, but she’s not exactly getting equal screen time with the Oscar winners on either side of her. Even though you only need 8 women to do the job of 11-13 men, the movie still feels crowded and the cast just doesn’t always get what it deserves. There are way too few female characters in this genre, and the 8 here are still just a drop in the bucket. We need to see a lot more lady (crime) bosses to even up the score, but maybe next time a lady boss behind the camera might also be in order – you know, if you want it done right.

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Ocean’s 8

  1. raistlin0903

    Great review. Overall most things I read about this film draw pretty much the same conclusions. It’s good but not great. Well, I won’t be seeing it in the theatres, but when it will hit the dvd shelves I will watch it in all likelyhood. It’s nice to see Bullock back again on the screen as well 😊

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  2. Christopher

    One of the funniest jokes I’ve heard about the Ocean’s franchise is that in the next film there’d be enough people to just pick up an armored car and walk away with it. In any kind of heist the smart thing is to involve as few people as possible (see also The Italian Job) so while I’d like to see more female representation generally I’m glad they went smaller and smarter with this one.
    Also I’m swooning over the word “cockmuppets”. There’s a ‘70’s porno called Let My Puppets Come and now guys who trashed the remake of Ghostbusters will be forever linked in my mind with that.

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  3. Birgit

    You hit the nail on the head with the manbabies and i can’t help but think of that idiot who took his parents to court because they wanted him out of the house…he is 31 yrs old and then he complained that he couldn’t go back for his legos! Sorry, I digress, but you seem to confirm what i was thinking and will wait for dvd

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    1. Jay Post author

      That guy is a grade A weirdo. And the saddest part is that he has a kid himself, and that’s why he refuses to work – so he doesn’t pay child support 😦
      That poor kid.

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  4. Brittani

    I lol’d at “manbabies sucking at the teat of nostalgia!” Truthfully, I didn’t like the Oceans movies that came before this, so I probably won’t bother with this one either unless it comes on HBO.

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  5. Lloyd Marken

    Cockmuppets aside maybe there were just some people who didn’t see the point of a remaking something if you’re going to change it so much. I was actually interested in an all female Ghostbusters but alas the film didn’t wow me. But the trailers for this unlike the Nopebusters trailers are slick and evoke the right mood. I’m glad you like it, that bodes well.

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      1. Lloyd Marken

        I agree, I’m just saying not everybody who did not enjoy the remake were those kind of morons. Some of the filth that gets put out on the internet by trolls is really disgusting. I remember even years ago in 2003 when stills came out for Terminator 3 all the comments were homophobic remarks about Arnie and Nick Stahl. I remember thinking then people should be held accountable for this shit.

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  6. Katy Rochelle (@katyrochelle)

    Nice review! I kind of felt the the other way about the cast – Rihanna was underused Helena was miscast but everyone was used pretty well considered how big the ensemble is. I could watch Sarah read Wikipedia. Good movie, but a better director could’ve made it great.

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    1. Jay Post author

      I think they probably should have gone with a female director.
      And yes Rihanna was underused – too many of them were, ensembles aren’t great for screen time, and that’s frustrating when everyone’s a superstar.

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