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Steven Soderbergh blogathon-Oceans 12

January 26, 2014


In his exploration of  Soderbergh’s Ocean trilogy, J.D.Lafrance,  covers the second part, Oceans 12 here. In his earlier post on Oceans 11, JD, had looked into how Soderbergh, remade the original Ocean’s trilogy, and made it an iconic one. Ocean’s 12 in a way bought some respite to Soderbergh after the twin failures of Solaris and Full Frontal in 2002. While Oceans 12, more or less retains the same cast,  it brings in a welcome addition in form of Catherine Zeta Jones.  It did not earn as much as Ocean’s 11, and critical opinion was divided too, neverthless still has it’s favorites. In JD’s own words.

Like its predecessor, Ocean’s Twelve is beautifully shot with atmospheric lighting and saturated color as evident in the bright yellow that permeates Isabel’s Europol lecture or the green lighting that illuminates the underwater sequence during a heist that Danny and his crew pull off, or the red lighting that dominates the nightclub where Rusty and Isabel meet. Most of the film takes place in Europe and Soderbergh adopts the look of a European film from the 1960’s, which also applies to the eclectically groovy soundtrack from David Holmes that evokes a ‘60s Euro-lounge vibe. The director even described the film’s aesthetic as “the most expensive episode of a ‘60s television show ever.” He and Holmes agreed that the score would be completely different from Ocean’s Eleven in order to complement the different look and feel. Soderbergh is an excellent visual storyteller and this is evident in several scenes that he depicts without any dialogue, instead resorting to music married to visuals that conveys exactly what’s going on. He understands the kind of movie he’s making and doesn’t try to be too cute or wink knowingly at the audience, instead focusing at the task at hand: making a confident, entertaining movie. Granted, Ocean’s Twelve is no Traffic (2000), and it’s not meant to be, but you could do a lot worse with two hours of your time.


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