Released in 2001, directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Ted Griffin, “Ocean’s Eleven” is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name (starring Frank Sinatra). The remake was a huge success, both in the United States and internationally, and raised more than $450 million in revenue, with a budget of $85 million.
What is it about?
World star George Clooney – who is no longer being presented – plays the role of Danny Ocean, just out of prison and ready to get back to work. He has an uncommon knack and charm that has led him to be suspected in more than ten investigations, without ever being charged with anything. He decides to contact his old friend and fellow adventurer, Rusty Ryan, himself played by Brad Pitt – who is also no longer being introduced today. He then tells him about his plan: to steal millions of dollars from not one, but three casinos in Las Vegas.
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While scouting for the job, Rusty sees the owner of the casino (Andy Garcia), and immediately recognizes the woman who accompanies him: Tess Ocean, played by the eternal Julia Roberts, Danny’s former wife.
“Tell me it has nothing to do with her”, Rusty begs Danny, but of course the robbery has everything to do with Tess. Ocean wants to steal his ex-wife’s lover – and get her back by the way.
So they set up a team, played by other big names of the cinema industry like Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Casey Affleck. And, surprisingly, this team will finally be made up of 11 people.
A Mastered Film Genre
The main lines of a humorous detective film are well defined, and have been for a long time: external shots of normally impossible targets, information from inside, voice-over on a sequence where we see the guards doing their patrol and the execution of the plan down to the second. The production of Ocean’s Eleven did not skimp on resources, notably by ordering a replica to the scale of the vaults used by the three casinos. There is also a kind of romantic comedy framed by Danny’s desire to win back his ex-wife.
One of the strong points of the film are its dialogues, and the play, which is always engaging and well mastered by its actors. Screenwriter Ted Griffin wrote elegant, lively dialogues, full of wit and fine humor, while retaining the tonalities of classic black thrillers. The actors pass the quid with ease, whether it’s Danny and his ex-wife, Danny and his rival (his ex-wife’s new lover), or members of the team. Brad Pitt and Matt Damon have a very interesting exchange, during which Brad Pitt explains the plan in strategic jargon, which is actually a subtle reference to Hamlet’s instructions to the actors in William Shakespeare’s famous theatre play. No wonder this film had an excellent audience, given the cast chosen by the director: big names from the world of cinema, an interesting script and a well-executed acting style. All the key ingredients for a great success!