Review: Proof That Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend

17th Dallas International Film Festival

By Daniel R. Durrett ~ @FilmDitz

This past year, with all that has occurred, Hollywood has been forced to make a valiant effort for pushing forward equal footing and level a respectful field that is most appropriate for Woman’s rights, power and new found respect.

Fans of the Heist genre receive arguably one of the best to date from a majority female led cast. At least since the Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett-Smith helmed “Set It Off”(1996).

Heist films as a whole are stories of rising up and sticking it to the man and stealing something epic in the process.  The timing for this film could not be better, as proven with the success NBC show “Good Girls”, and even better is the film’s pedigree of the Oceans saga.

In Ocean’s Eight we are introduced to more of the Ocean tribe Debbie, Danny Ocean’s younger sister. Debbie, Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) has spent, well, she will tell you. A… lot of federally provided time devising this elaborate theft. But, with the assistance of her right hand woman, Lou portrayed by Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings) set in action the plan to steal the legendary Toussaint necklace worth a whopping one hundred and fifty million dollars.

The Ocean’s gang must take the necklace from the neck of Daphne Kluger an “it” actress, portrayed by Anne Hathaway. The Heist must take place while Kluger is attending the Met Gala.

A story that is displayed by writer/director Gary Ross (Free State of Jones), in a very matching companion to the originally helmed Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen.

Rounding out the eight requires the assistance of designer Rose Weil, exposed in typical odd fashion by Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club), Jewelry designer Amita, Mindy Kaling (The Office), Hacker Nine Ball, Rihanna (Battleship) and Constance the quirky pick-pocket refreshingly styled by Awkwafina (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) and Tammy the neurotic housewife rounds out the eight, portrayed by Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story).

Elliott Gould refreshes his portrayal of Reuben, as well you can plan to see other previous Ocean’s characters from the first films. Some characters seen and others are hidden.

Bullock and Blanchett have great chemistry in the same manner that worked well with Rusty (Brad Pitt) and Danny (George Clooney) in the first film “Ocean’s Eleven”.

The character of Tammy (Paulson) in this film adds to the dynamics between Debbie and Lou that drives the sub-plot that is needed for story’s misdirection. Both Debbie and Lou’s characters are played with an over indulgence of cool that requires the existence of Tammy to showcase any depth within the story.

Ross may have been tasked to make a paint by numbers film to fit well within the Ocean’s world and though he did a masterful job. That job of matching up the Ocean’s product may have stunted the film’s growth from good to great meeting the pronounced watermarks set by the first films.

The film was fully enjoyable with fun chemistry lacking from the mainstream of Hollywood’s offerings.

This is a great film to see, on a Sunday afternoon with your parents, who may enjoy it more than you.

15th Dallas International Film Festival