Ocean’s 8

This film reminded me of Book Club only with talented actresses 20 years younger.

Ocean_s 8Though it proves to be a rather pedestrian, formulistic film, Ocean’s 8 is still a movie worth seeing. While it has a completely predictable plot containing few surprises, how do you pass on a film where all of the crooks are intelligent, beautiful women? They all have an undeniable style that makes the movie worth watching.

More to the point, this film is a spinoff of the original Ocean’s Eleven which starred George Clooney and Brad Pitt among others. Here they are replaced by Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and other wonderful actresses who function as a modern day Rat Pack. The stylistic approach by these actresses makes you feel that the theft of a $150 million necklace is a noble art.

Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, the sister of the now deceased Danny Ocean who was played by Mr. Clooney. She is a parolee who has just spent five years in prison planning a jewelry heist.

She teams up with her old partner Lou Miller, played with expected verve by Cate Blanchett. In the process, they form a team that includes a jeweler named Amita (Mindy Kaling), Constance Wong (Awkwafina), who is a young woman making a living in the streets, a suburban mother (Sarah Paulson) who is quickly convinced that the lure of a boatload of money justifies temporarily leaving her commitment to motherhood and a talented hacker known as Nine Ball (Rihanna).

However, as good as these women are, the film belongs to Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway. These two marvelous actresses thankfully provide the film with some needed depth.

Ms. Hathaway is perfect as a self-centered, arrogant model who reminds you of one of the Kardashian sisters. She is to wear the necklace that is the object of the planned theft, and she fits right in to Ms. Bullock’s plans given that her only apparent goal in life is to be seen on TV and appearing in national tabloids.

Ms. Bonham Carter appears here as Rose, a quirky clothes designer who is able to win Ms. Hathaway’s support. No actress working today has appeared in so many enjoyable oddball films, and Ms. Bonham Carter’s dedication to shedding any semblance of beauty reflects an artistic confidence that leaves her standing alone on a very high pedestal.

So here is to our  wonderful female cast that if nothing else helps us forget our dwindling recollection of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Peter Lawford moping around a pool table between slugs of a martini and a Camel cigarette.