This summer’s ultimate girl squad caper Ocean’s 8 hauled in some serious box office loot during its opening weekend in America. This might have come as a surprise for some, although it certainly shouldn’t have been given that a few of the recent biggest earning films have been female-led; Star Wars: The Force Awakens is America’s highest grosser ever, while Frozen has raked in more than any other animation, and Wonder Woman totally kicked Spider-man’s butt. We shouldn’t need to say it (time and time again), but this all seems like conclusive proof that women can no longer be ignored. Well, not unless we’re deliberately trying to go under the radar because we’re in the middle of a secret heist operation, which leads us to…
The reboot of 2001’s Ocean’s 11 (which itself was a reboot of the 1960’s Rat-Pack original) sees Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Helena Bohnam Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and Anne Hathaway unite to rob the Met Gala. Hell yeah, because if any location can outshine Ocean 11’s Vegas, it’s Anna Wintour’s starry starry party of the year. We know where we’d rather be. Here are eight more ways that Ocean’s 8 totally steals the limelight. It would be a crime not to see…
1. It doesn’t rely on men
While reboots often have a bit of fun by using actors from the originals as cameos, Ocean’s 8 has the strength to stand alone. In fact, a Matt Damon cameo even ended up on the cutting room floor, ouch. Talking to hellogiggles.com, screenwriter Olivia Milch explained, ‘While the idea to have [George Clooney’s] Danny show up was certainly a great one, the bigger scope of the movie was more important. [The movie is] something all on its own. We were listening to what we wanted to see, and that ultimately [not having Danny appear was] the truth of this movie.’
2. It highlights sexism without preaching about it
You know every time you’ve been totally ignored by men in a work meeting? What if you could use that to your advantage? Bullock’s Debbie does… In the film, she tells her gang, ‘A ‘him’ gets noticed. A ‘her’ gets ignored. And for once, we want to be ignored.’ And thus she notices society’s shortcomings and works it to her advantage. While we’re not endorsing robbery, how about plotting your own revenge – secretly gunning for a promotion perhaps?
3. It totally recreates the Met Gala
Anyone who pored over the red carpet images from this year’s ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’ themed Met Gala will know the humungous amount of effort that goes into the event, but that didn’t overwhelm the film’s production… They were allowed to shoot in the actual Metropolitan Museum after the doors closed to the public, allowing the stunning location to become a character in itself. For extra authenticity, genuine guests from Met Gala history make cameos as themselves, such as Dakota Fanning, Katie Holmes, Gigi Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Alexander Wang, Zac Posen, Heidi Klum and, naturally, Anna Wintour.
4. It doesn’t rely on cliched romance
There’s no doubt about it, Bullock and Blanchett have sizzling on-screen chemistry, but whether that translates as sexual tension is ambiguous. While other films have used female relationships to titillate audiences, there are no gratuitous kisses between the leads – just an intensity that goes beyond the relationship between Clooney’s Danny and Pitt’s Rusty in Ocean’s 11.
5. Anne Hathaway makes the Met Gala a bit more meta
When you’re an Oscar-winning actress, you can afford to have a little fun onscreen. Much like Michelle Williams did in I Feel Pretty, Anne Hathaway brings much comedy to the role of Daphne without letting it become slapstick. Which is fair enough since, as the target of the heist, Daphne’s out there on her own. Hathaway gets further kudos for not so much playing a parody of herself, but a parody of the person everyone seems to think Anne Hathaway is. At an Ocean’s 8 press conference, Hathaway described the self-obsessed character as ‘what would have happened, if at the beginning of my career I thought of fame as something that was real.’
6. It allows Helen Bonham Carter to use her ‘kooky’ image to her advantage
While Helen Bonham Carter is incredibly versatile, it can be hard to separate the actress from the gothic fantasy genre she’s become known for. While she’s brilliant at playing these parts, we don’t often get to see her emotional depth, which is why her portrayal of Rose in Ocean’s 8 is such a treat. As a celebrity stylist, Bonham Carter is given the opportunity to show off a fabulously bonkers wardrobe, but deeper than that, Rose is one of the few characters who needs the heist to work, since she’s facing a prison sentence for tax evasion. She may have less screen time than some of her co-stars, but she more than makes up for it in passion.
7. The cast’s group chat is just like you and your gang’s
While on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Mindy Kaling revealed that she and her famous co-stars have a group chat going on, so the host goaded her into messaging the gang a selfie of the pair on the couch together. Naturally, hilarity ensued as the conversation became wildly chaotic, just like everyone else’s, from Awkwafina’s standard ‘OMFG’ to Paulson’s emojis and Blanchett’s delayed response to a previous topic. All in all, we think this goes to show what true buddies they really are. Friendship goals indeed.
8. It’s been a long time coming
Sexist comments of criticism don’t deserve the courtesy of a response, especially given that Ocean’s 8 is already a proven success, but those who’ve claimed that the spin-off jumps on a bandwagon need to be reminded that development started way back in 2015, long before the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Which goes to show that the power of women has always been there, it’s just that finally more people are starting to notice. Which is only an issue if you’re a professional thief trying to go unseen…
Ocean’s 8 is released in the UK on 18th June.