The first official Ocean’s 8 trailer is here, and it looks like everything we hoped it would be. The all-female ensemble cast is witty, diverse, and badass. It successfully made me antsy about the full release, and I can’t wait until June to see a bunch of women pull off the crime of a lifetime. The two-and-a-half minute trailer seems to hint at how stealing $20 million would affect the lives of eight very different women. I don’t need to see the film to know that the answer is probably: a lot. Even this soon, it’s worth taking a closer look at what connections Ocean’s 8 might be drawing between women and money.
Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is up for parole, and despite her claim that she’s ready for a “simple life” she decides mastermind a huge jewellery heist at the Met Gala. To do so she needs to round up the perfect team. It includes her right-hand woman Lou (Cate Blanchett), a jewellery maker named Amita (Mindy Kaling), stay-at-home mom Tammy (Sarah Paulson), and fashion designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter). Local street hustler Constance (Awkwafina) and a hacker that goes by Nine Ball (Rihanna) round out the bunch with their unique skillsets. Even from these these quick tidbits of information, it makes total sense why each one of them would need a few extra bucks.
Formerly incarcerated individuals face so many barriers to employment. And when your primary skill is stealing loads of cash, it makes sense why Debbie would get back in the game so soon. If Nine Ball is trying to stay off the grid to conquer the web in peace, she could use some extra income to survive. It’s the freelance contract to end all freelance contracts. Amita’s mom is overbearing and pressuring her to get married, but she’s still forced to live with her. Constance probably doesn’t want to use card games and pickpocketing to support herself anymore. And kids are expensive, so Tammy was convinced to put her life as a housewife on hold to come on board for the plan as well.
While the stakes aren’t nearly as high in the real world, the fact still remains that economic freedom holds a shiny key to all different kinds of liberation for women. It’s the difference between marrying for love or independence. It could define whether or not you return to prison after paying your debt to society; or to avoid jail altogether. It’s the ability to pursue a passion or send your kid to college to pursue theirs. This is how money works for everyone, but especially for a group that is systematically underrepresented, underpaid, and overburdened simply for being female.
From the trailer, there is a simple lesson on money in Ocean’s 8: Women need it. We cannot and should not commit acts of organised crime to get it, but sometimes (like when it’s the difference between life and death) it can feel worth the risk. The heist in 2001's Ocean's Eleven was executed by a bunch of men who were excited about money, sure. But they were also lured by the simple thrill of possibly getting away with it. They didn't need to be convinced.
If there’s another takeaway from Ocean's 8, I’ll have to wait until June 8 to get it.