This post contains spoilers for Ocean’s 8.
If I was a criminal, I’d be a con woman.
Do you know what the ‘con’ in con man stands for? Confident. Psych Bytes marketing manager, Brandon Gage, informed the Shrink Tank team on that last week. The jury is still out on whether or not that’s true, but regardless it is a nice sentiment. After all, every good con man oozes a confidence that paves the way for a successful heist.
Ocean’s 8 provides further evidence to support this theory.
Ocean’s 8 is the follow up to the franchise Ocean’s 11 starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon to name a few. Both films are filled to the brim with sky-high confidence levels, suave and hoppy tunes, classic style, and iconic, smooth scene transitions. Ocean’s 8 pays homage to its predecessor and utilizes original soundtracks, similar scenes, and visual techniques. The difference? Ocean’s 8 stars an all-female cast.
Not just any all-female cast, but a powerhouse team including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Awkwafina, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and Sarah Paulson.
Bullock, playing Debbie Ocean (Danny Ocean’s sister), has spent the last 5 years and change planning a flawless heist centered around New York’s, Met Gala and the Toussaint, a 150 million dollar necklace that will be gracing the neck of Daphne Kluger (Hathaway). Hathaway’s character is the perfect portrayal of actress stereotypes.
Immediately upon her release from prison, Debbie Ocean swaggers out looking imperfectly fabulous, demonstrates to the audience her con man talents—after all, she spends her first evening out of freedom in a swanky hotel donning a fur coat… without spending a dime.
Bullock starts by reuniting with Blanchett who plays Lou, Oceans previous partner.
And the duo proceeds to spend the next few days gathering an all-star group of thieves, hackers, and jewelers all with very specific and perfectly honed skills within their niche.
Fast forward and *spoiler alert* the crew successfully pulls off the heist of the century and the movie producers successfully pull off a plot twist or two along the way.
Today’s society is in the midst of a massive female empowerment wave—evident with the support for the #MeToo movement across social media, supporting the #TimesUp movement by wearing black dresses to award shows, and so much more.
Naturally, a cast of strong female characters comes at an economically apt time. Sure enough, there are a few lines throughout the script that speak volumes in support of female empowerment. For example, Bullock speaks to the invisibility of women—in this instance using that in their favor to complete the heist. And another moment, when Bullock looks in the mirror at the Met and says to her team, “‘Somewhere out there, there’s an 8-year-old girl dreaming of becoming a criminal. You’re doing this for her.”
You could review this movie by comparing the George Clooney version to the Sandra Bullock one and asking if the girls did it better.
You could review this movie by asking why there has to be a male motivated subplot. (Thanks revenge and ex-lovers.)
You could review this movie by asking why it took over a decade for Hollywood to produce an all-female Ocean’s film.
You could review this movie by asking if George Clooney and Brad Pitt took home a larger payday for Ocean’s 11 than Sandra and Cate did for Ocean’s 8.
I choose to review this movie based on Brandon’s conman theory; confidence.
If confidence is the foundation of all con men and a successful heist, then Ocean’s 8 and the cast of confident women got away with that one. Not only did they exude confidence to their audience on screen, but also to one another off screen.
For instance, in an interview with Ellen Degeneres, Anne Hathaway speaks to the love within this strong group of women and the support that made her feel comfortable in her own skin while still carrying around a few extra post-pregnancy pounds. (If Rihanna said I had an ass like hers, I would feel pretty good about myself too.)
Overall, confidence is key. Because somewhere out there an 8-year-old girl is watching. We’re doing it for her.