OCEAN’S 8 — Review by Susan Granger

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oceans 8 posterOpening with a scene reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven (2001), this caper comedy introduces the late, lamented Danny Ocean’s younger sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock), leaving prison after five-years, eight months and 12 days behind bars. Swinging into action, Debbie purloins beauty products from Bergdorf Goodman, forges a posh Manhattan hotel registration, liberates a suitcase off a bellman’s cart and contacts her cool wing-woman Lou (Cate Blanchett) to explain an intricate scheme she’s been working on during her incarceration. Continue reading…

“Why do you need to do this?” Lou asks. “Because it’s what I’m good at,” Debbie answers.

She’s after serious ‘bling,’ namely Cartier’s Toussaint, a dazzling, six-pound diamond necklace, worth $150 million, which will be around the neck of vain, It Girl actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the upcoming Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Gala. Their job is to exchange it for a perfectly crafted cubic zirconia copy.

But that involves a team effort, so she recruits Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), a career-crazed couturier; Nine Ball (pop star Rihanna), an intrepid hacker; Tammy (Sarah Paulson), a proficient fence; Amita (Mindy Kaling), a diamond expert; and Constance (Awkwafina), a pickpocket/hustler.

Why an all-woman crew? As Debbie notes, “A ‘him’ gets noticed; a ‘her’ gets ignored. And, for once, we’d like to be ignored.”

Helmed by pedestrian director Gary Ross (“Pleasantville.” “Seabiscuit”), who collaborated on the superficial, gender-flipped script with Olivia Milch, there are lots of cameos, including Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian, Katie Holmes, Dakota Fanning, Hailey Baldwin, Maria Sharapova, Olivia Munn, even Anna Wintour.

Early on, Debbie is determined to wreak vengeance against her smarmy ex-boyfriend, Claude Becker (Richard Armitage). And after the jewel heist, James Corden appears as a savvy insurance investigator.

FYI: In a mausoleum scene, one stone reads “Helga M. Meyer,” that’s the maiden name of Sandra Bullock’s late mom.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Oceans 8 scores a sparkling 7, an adventurous, fun chick-flick.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.