‘Ocean’s 8’: A delightfully smart crime caper

The film is driven by an all-female cast. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 04 July 2018
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‘Ocean’s 8’: A delightfully smart crime caper

CHENNAI: Over the years, dozens of heist stories have played out on the silver screen, but director Gary Ross’ female-driven crime caper is a delightfully smart breath of fresh air.

“Ocean’s 8” stars Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, who lead a team of razor-sharp women on an ambitious mission to steal a $150 million Cartier diamond necklace.
A spinoff of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy, Ross’ film is no less ambitious, although a focus on the planning part of the robbery leaves the movie unevenly balanced, with the run-up to the robbery eating up much of the 110-minute run time.
Bullock plays the character of Debbie Ocean, who spends five years in prison seething with anger and planning revenge after her art dealer boyfriend, Claude Becker (Richard Armitage), saves himself by trapping her in the midst of a crime. Out on parole, she seeks her former comrade-in-crime, Lou (Blanchett), and gets together an all-women team to pull off a dazzling heist.

Bullock plays the character with astounding confidence — look at the way she walks out of jail and into a high-class store, shoplifts and enters a posh hotel room, it is thrilling. With the same devil-may-care attitude, she forms a gang with Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), a disgraced fashionista, Amita (Mindy Kaling), a jewelry maker, Constance (Awkwafina), a hustler-pickpocket, Nine Ball (Rihanna), an ace hacker and Tamy (Sarah Paulson), a suburban mother and profiteer. Anne Hathaway plays the dim-witted model who becomes a passive accessory to the crime.

The narrative flows along with remarkable editing, a haunting score and some fantastic top shots. The scripting is smooth, despite moments of disbelief. A subtle yet strong performance by Blanchett and Bonham Carter’s charming awkwardness add to the fun in what has turned out to be a deliciously delightful film that proves an all-female cast can score Box Office gold.

The film earned another $8.03 million in its fourth weekend in the US, Forbes reported on Monday, making for a $114.7 million 24-day total.


New E! channel reality show follows women across the Mideast

Updated 15 December 2018
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New E! channel reality show follows women across the Mideast

DUBAI: US TV channel E! is set to premiere a new show about the Middle East’s female entrepreneurs on Dec. 23. Here are six of the stars who will feature in “Generation M.E.”

Dana Al-Tuwarish
The Kuwaiti influencer and entrepreneur will host the show and is already a well-known name in the region with her two million Instagram followers and numerous beauty ventures.
Arwa Al-Banawi
The Saudi designer launched her own fashion line in 2015 and recently made headlines when Will Smith and his son, Jaden, popped into her Dubai Design District showroom for a visit in October.
Tara Khattar
The New York-based Lebanese chef is a fast-rising star on the culinary scene and at just 25-years-old has already appeared on “Top Chef France.”
Manal Rostom
In May, the Egyptian marathon-runner and mountaineer became the first Arab woman to be featured on the Global Nike+ Run Club App.
Joelle Mardinian
The Lebanese beauty entrepreneur launched her chain salon Maison de Joelle in 2008 and it now has branches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha, Tunisia and Kurdistan.
Hanan Mazouzi
The Algerian car-lover founded the UAE’s first women-only supercar club, the Arabian Gazelles, and has been featured in everything from CNN to Vogue magazine.