The Armed robber year
Film. Steve McQueen’s Widows is a women’s robbery movie. The kind of tomorrow, asks our journalist?
By Théo Ribeton
Last June, we wanted to impose ourselves as Ocean’s 8 “Armed robber of the Year”, the sequel/female transposition of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy, with Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and other Rihanna as heirs of George Clooney and Brad Pitt. It didn’t work : the film provoked a tempest of macho talk online and accusations of sexism addressed to the critics. Exacerbating the tensions where he should have celebrated the openness to diversity. A few months later, the figure of the robber is back with Widows determined to succeed their robbery of good taste film buff. Since the film is signed by the Oscar winner Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Shame…).
“A gang of men heavily armed, led by Liam Neeson, flees the Chicago police in a van that ends in flames, including bodies and bills.”
It starts precisely by a siphoning of the masculine. A ballsy hold-up who goes to the dogs. A gang of men heavily armed , led by Liam Neeson, flees the Chicago police in a van that ends in flames, including bodies and bills. Then the movie accompanies the gangsters’wives. Either the Oscar winner Viola Davis flanked by action star Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar, Fast & Furious…) or fresh blood Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo. They must immediately improvise a strategy of survival : while their world collapses, they are suspected of hiding the hoard.
The solution ? To associate and steal thestrong room of a villa belonging to the reigning family of South Chicago, dynasty of male and white elected (Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell in front) whose villainous campaign serves as a backdrop to the plot. But why are they pointing ? This is the big question posed this year of rebalancing genres via Ocean’s 8, Widows and a few others. Because the robbers don’t act for the same reasons as their male counterparts (power, money …). They act rather to correct the errors of these last.
It was already the case in Good Girls, new series NBC seeing three good provincial girls improvise supermarket robbers to thwart their material troubles and their boredom. Christina Hendricks dropped the mask of the housewife to compensate by force the calamitous financial management of her husband. Just like Michelle Rodriguez in Widows takes over the shop leaded by her gambling debts her husband.
As if the very principle of female crime responded to a logic of necessity and not a logic of freedom. This is the mental charge of the mobster !
That doesn’t stop him from shifting the stakes of representation. This is what rots from the inside Ocean’s 8 not concerned enough with the stakes of a good heist movie and obsessed with his automated girl power and his malicious noses. And who succeeds Widows or Bacchantes… The novel by Celine Minard, writer who specialized in the feminization of archetypes and imagines a thief of great wine. So attacking doubly the emblems of masculinity. In short, 2018 is the year of the robbers. They write something new that intertwines the conventions of criminal fiction and the pillars of male domination. From this point of view, the case has just begun!