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Reviews | It’s time to give ‘Eight Women and a Secret’ the recognition it deserves

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Gary Ross is a relatively competent name when you think of the gigantic Hollywood film industry. Although he did not work on a large scale in the executive chair, Ross was responsible for the first iteration of the “Hunger Games” franchise and also the script for the comedy-drama “Pleanstville – Black and White Life”. , one of the most engaging. stories that audiences have had the pleasure of watching. Two years after his last project, he returned to helm a new story that would have many problems to describe – including the fact that it functions as a remake sequel to one of the best-known trilogies: “Man’s Eleven”.

First, it should be remembered that the feature film signed by Steven Soderbergh in 2001 already worked as a reinterpretation of the “classic” starring Frank Sinatra in the 60s, intelligent and dynamic and which gave two sequels without the same brilliance. So how could Ross be based on the same premise and similar microcosm without losing glamour, originality and above all his own cinematic identity? It’s almost obvious to think about these questions when looking at the trailers and commercials for “Eight Women and a Secret” – but thankfully the director managed to deliver a very interesting and satisfying audiovisual piece in almost every way. aspects.

The newest adventure in the franchise stars the charismatic and sagacious Deborah “Debbie” Ocean (Sandra Bullock), sister of notorious con artist Danny (George Clooney, whose character suffers apparent tragedy but lives on in everyone’s memory). . Like her brother, Debbie had been arrested for participating in a bogus art-selling scheme, serving five years in prison before being paroled for good behavior – her first monologue already draws parallels with Danny for the lies of “find a job, make friends and get out of trouble”. And the funny thing about this short prologue is that she doesn’t even wait five minutes to get out of jail to put on her new plan to execution.

By the standards of the original trilogy, our anti-heroine needs a team of experts to carry out every step – and the first member emerges in the ever-welcome figure of Cate Blanchett as Lou, best friend and Debbie’s partner. The two find themselves in the most comical way possible – for all the contradictory reasons one can imagine (in front of their brother’s grave) – then set out to discriminate the details necessary for them to manage to steal a precious artifact: All Saints’ Day, a fifty-carat diamond necklace worth over $150 million that immediately takes over from the crook’s point of view. However, instead of following in Danny’s footsteps and breaking into Cartier’s prized safe, she decides to delve into the fabulous world of celebrities and break into the annual Met Gala ball and fly during the event.

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The film’s cast is something to be admired primarily for the return of some names that fell into obscurity – either for lack of on-stage versatility or sheer distance. Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway return for another partnership as fashion designer Rose Weil and socialite actress Daphne Kluger, respectively. The two play together in many scenes – and the dialogue even serves as some barbs that dialogue with the conflicts that unfold in real life (a great way to restore friendships, by the way). Drizzled with pure comedy and complete tragicomic irreverence, both characters have their arcs outlined as much as possible without distracting from the main and supporting background. Hathaway returns with a bang for one of the best roles of his career and proves capable of indulging in both drama and comedy in the blink of an eye.

The whole story is thought out to the smallest detail – and although it unfolds more timidly and monotonously in the first act, it retains the potential it carries for future moments; and yes, even with the narrative conventionalisms of the genre in question, the script signed by the director with Olivia Milch, is based on dialogical impossibilities which, for the cosmos belonging to the characters, work in the most adverse situations. Now Sarah Paulson plays housewife and ex-con Tammy and manages to get a job at the gigantic Vogue magazine just to gain access to the Met Gala guest arrangement – ​​where else would that be? ?

Of course, perfection is far from achieved, and even an amazing cast like this can’t eclipse all slips. Working well within their respective bubbles – and with the exception of Blanchett and Bullock who create sparks at various points in the plot – the team known as Ocean’s Eight lacks the same chemistry as the original trilogy. However, there’s no denying that his involvement and character development goes far beyond what was featured in ‘Eleven Men’, and none of them seem to be disappearing on purpose. And there’s no denying that Ross pays homage to Soderbergh by imitating his perspectives and his constructions of images, from the obligatory close-ups to the diligent and forceful editing whose function is to keep the viewer worried and attentive with every step taken – however, the abrupt cuts disturb at some point and end up indirectly diverting our attention.

“Women and a Secret” is a hilarious spinoff that works for the most part. By following past films and making hilarious inserts to endorse the new narrative, Ross earned several points by pulling off a feat that seemed impossible. And yes, Debbie Ocean is very likely to return – after all, number eight can’t have been chosen by chance, right?

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