Nominee #18 - Ocean's Elevens (2001)
Danny Oceans and his ten abettors set out to rob three Las Vegas casinos.
George Clooney as con man Danny Ocean, and his accomplices, plan and execute the audacious simultaneous robbery of three Las Vegas casinos (The Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand) on the night of a big boxing match in this remake of the 1960 movie of the same name (that starred Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop). The 2001 remake also had in the cast Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy García and Julia Roberts. It also starred gangster par excellence and Godfather star James Caan’s son Scott Caan. The cast had so much fun making the movie and the movie did so well at the box office that two sequels followed and an all-female spin off.
In spite of all the gags, the 2001 movie manages enough sobriety to also succeed as gripping action-crime thriller, not just a flappy musical-comedy-drama.
The 2001 movie was the first of the runaway hit 21st century franchise.
Ageing Angie Dickinson and Henry Silva who starred in the 1960 original, make cameo appearances. Prolific film director Steven Soderbergh briefly appears on screen, as one of the bank robbers. As does producer Jerry Weintraub!
The whole idea was fun, from start to finish. Apparently when Frank Sinatra, who starred in the original, heard the plot he sparked: “Forget the move, let’s pull the job!”
Soderbergh’s movie stood out for its uber-clever script, fast-paced dialogue, electric camerawork and nostalgia-filled music with tracks from the 20th century including Moon River, the immortal Claire de Lune and some memorable voices - Perry Como!
The movie featured cameos by the German-American magician-entertainer duo Siegfried and Roy famed for their performances with white lions and tigers and former world heavyweight professional boxing champions Wladimir Klitschko and Lennox Lewis.
In spite of all the gags, the 2001 movie manages enough sobriety to also succeed as gripping action-crime thriller, not just a flappy musical-comedy-drama. All this while being one of the coolest, slickest heist films of all time ending up with a 7/10 Rotten Tomatoes rating.
How? Well, 21st century audiences could immediately see it - and love it - as farce compared to 20th century audiences who expected the 1960 movie to be a serious, sensible heist movie and were disappointed with the laughs and giggles it then provoked.
That said, Soderbergh’s movie provoked its own laughter when audiences worldwide struggled to make sense of Don Cheadle’s pathetic British cockney accent. But unlike the 1960 movie, the laughter merely elevated Soderbergh’s movie to Heist movie heaven, where it has stayed smugly since.