Ocean’s 8 (2018) starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, & Anne Hathaway

NOTE: This post contains MILD SPOILERS for the film (now playing in theaters).

What seems like a fun, simple heist movie (female reboot of Ocean’s franchise), has layers (when you dig deeper). The dialogue and slow-ish directing style leaves much to be desired, BUT the actors pull off a LOT w/ the strength of their personalities, FAB fashion, confidence, and (off course) charisma. These women (mostly household names) are NOT afraid to poke fun at themselves. At one point, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) says: “A he gets noticed. A she is invisible. We want to be invisible.” Oooh, if that’s NOT a direct jab at major Hollywood film studios, I don’t know what is!

I haven’t seen Bullock (who plays recent parolee/younger sis of Danny) in a while; she’s had some hits (and quite a few misses) in her career. (Fun fact: He mom was an opera singer from Germany; she speaks some German at pivotal points in the film.) Cate Blanchett (Lou) is great, as usual; her platinum bob and menswear-inspired suits look V cool. I much prefer to see Blanchett in this type of strong/independent woman role, as opposed to Blue Jasmine (saw recently on Netflix w/ my mom). Her performance is compelling in that (rather lackluster) film, BUT I just like her kicking ass! There is an enigmatic nature to the relationship between Debbie and Lou.

Anne Hathaway (who steals the show) takes on the self-obsessed Hollywood star archetype. I think even Hathaway’s haters will have to take note of this performance! She is more of an earnest theater geek/English major, a far cry from Daphne Kluger, who swings from confident to insecure in the blink of an eye. Dahne’s designer for the Met Gala is Rose Weil (Helena Bonham-Carter), a broke Irishwoman near the end of her rope (until she meets Debbie and Lou). Bonham-Carter also makes fun of herself; take note the of the quirky touches (incl. hair, gloves, Victorian-inspired outfits). It’s great to see her (on the big screen) after MANY years. 

My friends and I were excited to see Mindy Kaling (now a mom- WOW); I wanted to know a BIT more re: her diamond-expert character, Amita. Awkwafina, a young Chinese-American actress from Queens, gets laughs for her deadpan performance of Constance (a skateboarding street hustler). Catch her later this Summer on Crazy Rich Asians. And who can forget Nine Ball, a young hacker played by Rihanna!? She just has the kind of screen presence that can’t be faked, even covered in baggy ponchos and working over a laptop. Sarah Paulson is the bored suburban mom, Tammy; she should’ve gotten more to do. 

Richard Armitage fans (like myself) will be V happy to see the Brit get more exposure; he plays Claude Becker (art dealer/con man). He recently tweeted that he got the role last-minute. Another Brit I’m also fan of (Damian Lewis- starring in Showtime’s Billions) had to drop out. Claude is Daphne’s date for the Gala; he has little interest in her (as a person), BUT seems to love being in proximity to celebs. (There are MANY celeb cameos in this film- FYI.) There are little moves and expressions to show Daphne that he cares, BUT this is all a performance. Richard does a great job in his (limited) role; he gets really great outfits, too. 

Sidenote: If you want to know more re: the Met Gala, check out the doc that the characters watch- The First Monday in May (Netflix). 

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3 thoughts on “Ocean’s 8 (2018) starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, & Anne Hathaway

  1. Bullock’s German is excellent, although I think I heard her make a grammatical error (wrong gender in the accusative case). I am totally okay with her sobriquet of “America’s Sweetheart” — she seems to be a really neat person and she certainly killed it in this film.

    I agree with your general point that it would have been good for the many women to have much more to do. I hadn’t seen Mindy Kaling in anything before this and I thought she was spectacular, but if I had to pick a “favorite” it would probably be a tossup between Awkwafina and Paulson. I will definitely look up some of Kaling’s other work. Did you hear that she had to learn all the Hindi she uses in the film as she does not speak it?

    I adored the way Armitage flutters his eyelashes!!

    • Oh yeah, makes sense re: Hindi b/c her fam is South Indian (so think they may speak Tamil or Telegu). Mindy had own comedy series- haven’t seen all of it yet. She was in/wrote for “The Office” in her 20s (never saw much of that show).

      • I wonder why they wouldn’t cast a Tamil or Telugu speaker as her mother then … huh. Anyway, I haven’t seen any of The Office, but I’d heard many times that the Mindy Project was excellent (also haven’t seen). I remembered today: where’s she’s great — inspired casting choice — is in A Wrinkle in Time, a movie that disappointed me apart from a few things, and she was one of the bright spots.

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