Ocean's 8 secret weapon is hidden in plain sight
This was truly unexpected.
Before we get into Ocean's 8, we want to go back a little bit to another female-fronted movie from earlier this year: I Feel Pretty.
The Amy Schumer-starring vehicle was perfectly watchable if far from memorable, save for one particular aspect, and that was the jaw-droppingly brilliant comedic performance by Michelle Williams.
A four-time Oscar-nominated actress, we usually associated her with movies that felt designed specifically to make us feel bad - Brokeback Mountain, Shutter Island, Blue Valentine, Manchester By The Sea - and she completely stole the show in I Feel Pretty with her thoroughly hilarious role, and had everyone who went to see it saying the same thing: she needs to do more comedy.
Jump forward to Ocean's 8.
Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, estranged sister to George Clooney's Danny, and she has just been released from a five-year stint in prison. Getting back to New York she wastes no time in reuniting with her old partner-in-crime (played by Cate Blanchett), and starts putting in motion a plan to steal expensive jewels during the Met Gala.
Together they begin to recruit other members of their crew, including a designer (Helena Bonham Carter), a master hacker (Rihanna), a large scale con artist (Sarah Paulson), a sleight-of-hand artist (Awkwafina) and replica maker (Mindy Kaling).
Watching the early mini-cons is great fun, reminiscent of 2001's overlooked female-con-artist gem Heartbreakers, and it is highly entertaining seeing Bullock play the coolest, smartest person in the city, already so far ahead of the curve that she looks a little bit bored having to interact with anyone who isn't up to her level.
Ocean's 8 is pure fun, and sometimes fun is all you need, but you might have noticed something already.
Bullock, Blanchett, Carter, Rihanna, Paulson, Awkwafina, Kaling... makes seven.
The hidden secret weapon is right there in the title, with Anne Hathaway making eight, playing the mark for the crew, and she is having an absolute blast doing so.
It brings us back to the Michelle Williams comparison, as Hathaway has spent a lot of time lately remoulding her image. The girl we met in The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada grew up to win awards for making us cry while watching Les Miserables, or arguing the scientific virtue of love in Interstellar, or kicking ass in The Dark Knight Rises.
In Ocean's Eight she's playing a spoiled Hollywood actress, who the other ladies treat as nothing more than the vehicle that gets a $150 million necklace within their grasp, but she plays the role so perfectly, nailing every grimace and smirk while in the company of anyone she deems less famous than her (which is pretty much everyone), that you can't help but have as much fun as she's clearly having playing the role.
If the ladies do reunite for Ocean's Nine - and they already know which female director they want to have to do it - then folding Hathaway back into the mix is an absolute must. And, if they can, get Michelle Williams in there too, somehow.
Ocean's 8 is released in cinemas here on Monday 18 June.
Clip via Warner Bros. Pictures