Having finally seen Ocean’s Eight at the cinema a couple of months ago, I thought I would give my opinion on why the film is important in terms of female empowerment. The film, a continuation of the Ocean’s 11 trilogy starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, is not just a heist film about eight women stealing a necklace, it’s a change in the right direction for female filmmakers.
Even though the film was directed by a man, Gary Ross, writer, producer and director; it is the cast and plot of the film that has shown women on top for once.
The eight talented and diverse leads from the music and acting world were not just picked randomly, as a unit they gelled together to create a believable and enjoyable chemistry.
I loved the setting of the film, at the MET Gala, one of the most prestigious events in the world. It played to the character’s strengths and interests: Mindy Kaling’s character is a jewellery maker, Sarah Paulson takes a job at Vogue, Anne Hathaway is a vain but devious celebrity. Some male critics dismissed the setting as a ‘typical female subject’. I however disagree with this.
The setting of the MET Gala as the most exclusive invitation in America makes the stakes for the heist that much higher. Just robbing the vault where the necklace was kept wouldn’t be as exciting or dangerous as actually carrying out the heist at the gala with cameras and security covering every inch of the place.
In most male-led heist films they would not consider robbing a necklace and certainly not by taking a job at a magazine or catering the event. This is where women find their individuality and what makes the film plot interesting.
There are some very influential and key male characters in the film such as Claude Becker, Debbie Ocean’s ex-boyfriend who becomes an important person in the heist as he is taken to the gala as Daphne Kluger’s date and is manipulated for revenge by Debbie.
A satisfying ending to the film reveals the eight never being caught but letting the insurance agent trying to hunt down the stolen necklace only have 10%. Lou also reveals all the other jewellery she managed to lift so the participants all get $30 million – twice the agreed upon amount.
This film showed me that women can still wear dresses, take typically feminine jobs, steal a necklace but can also be clever, not get caught and make a great entertaining movie.
Some personal highlights of the film for me were Debbie Ocean managing to get herself a free hotel room at the beginning, the recruitment of Daphne to the plan, the ‘job within a job’ at the gala, framing Claude Becker and the four retired actresses at the end auctioning off parts of the necklace as bracelets and brooches.
Directed by Gary Ross
Screenplay by Gary Ross & Olivia Milch
Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean (the leader and the woman who thought up the heist whilst in prison)
Cate Blanchett as Lou (Debbie’s best friend with catering skills and an authoritative persona)
Helena Bonham Carter as Rose Weil (a timid fashion designer struggling with debt)
Mindy Kaling as Amita (a jewellery designer, looking for a boyfriend and still living with her mother)
Rihanna as Nine Ball (a hacker who can crack any puzzle)
Awkwafina as Constance ( a pickpocket who can take anything from anyone)
Sarah Paulson as Tammy (a housewife with kids, running a secret buy and sell operation and an old friend of Debbie’s)
Anne Hathaway as Daphne Kluger (one of the most famous actresses in the world, looking for her MET Ball dress designer and who is vain but also deceitful)
Richard Armitage as Claude Becker (an arrogant gallery owner who is an ex-boyfriend of Debbie’s and Daphne’s new beau)
James Corden as John Frazier (the insurance agent trying to hunt down the stolen necklace who managed to catch members of Debbie’s family on several occasions)
There were also many celebrity cameos at the MET Gala such as:
Hailey Baldwin, Olivia Munn, Katie Holmes, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian West, Serena Williams.
Overall I think this film is very entertaining for both men and women and the empowering messages for women only enhance the story.
I give Ocean’s Eight 5/5.
Sorry for not posting in almost two months. I have been on holiday in places with no WiFi and I also haven’t had the time to write a good piece. Hopefully will be doing a few more this month to make up for the lack of pieces in July.