Blast from the past

Pre-Ocean’s 8: Sandra Bullock’s most underrated movie


Ah, Sandra Bullock. A true national treasure. An Academy Award winner that ages like a fine wine. Gorgeous, talented and versatile, Sandra can do it all. She can play a witch, a detective, FBI agent posing as a beauty contestant, an astronaut and a football mom.

And as of next month. A thief. Yeah, that’s right she’s one of the assemble cast of actresses in Ocean’s 8- the Gary Ross directed heist movie that is at the same time s a spin-off of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy.

Ocean’s 8 follows a group of women, led by the estranged sister of Danny Ocean, who plan on robbing the Met Gala in New York City. And yes, Sandra is in the role of Debbie Ocean, a professional robber and Danny Ocean’s estranged sister. Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter are also in the female dominated cast, but so are Matt Damon and Carl Reiner in cameo roles. They reprise their roles as Linus Caldwell and Saul Bloom, respectively, from the Ocean’s Trilogy, and I for one can’t wait for this movie to be released. Mostly because I’m a sucker for a good heist film, secondly because I’m huge fan of Soderberg’s 2001 film and of course because of the cast.

Sandra and Cate are the bait for me, and I’d love to see hem working together, but while I wait for Ocean’s 8 to come out in theaters, I want to take you back to 2002, and remind you of a great but underrated movie with Sandra in the lead role.

28 Days. She plays Gwen Cummings in Betty Thomas’s comedy drama film. A 30-something woman that fills her days and nights with booze and nothing else.

But when she crashes her car in to other people’s house (and on her sister’s wedding day no less), Gwen will be given a choice. Go to jail or go to rehab. She will pick rehab, and things will not go smoothly there. Her roommate is young Andrea (Azura Skye), a heroin addict who sporadically self-harms and is a fan of the fictitious soap opera Santa Cruz. Some of the other colorful patients at the facility are Oliver (Mike O’Malley) (a hypersexual cocaine addict), Daniel (Reni Santoni) and Roshanda (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) (alcoholics), Bobbi Jean (Diane Ladd) (an older addict), Gerhardt (Alan Tudyk) (a gay man whose addiction is not specified), and they all add an interesting depth to the movie.

Each and every one of them is so very different which makes the clashes with Sandra’s character even that much fun.

But for me the biggest momentum is the portrayal of addiction. Yeah, the film doesn’t have the most realistic portrayal of a rehabilitation facility (it’s a movie after all), but it’s more or less truthful about everything else. The will power, the relapses, the over-doses, the self-loathing that every addict has troubles with on a day to day basis. Like in Gwen’s case my drug of chaise was alcohol. Vodka to be more precise, and although I didn’t get sober in rehab, there are plenty other similarities between me and her. Sandra gives one of the best performances in her career of course, and Dominic West, Vigo Mortensen, Alan Tyduk are all awesome too.

But I want to talk about the other stuff The bad stuff Yeah, it was all there. Denial is big problem in one addict’s life. I can quit drinking whenever I want. Yeah, you can’t, and I couldn’t. At least not for a while. After a decade long battle with alcoholism, I quit the booze mainly because it was affecting my health. My hair was starting to fall off, my skin was terrible, and I was fat and miserable.

Oh and let’s not forget the fatty liver and enlarged spleen. And it just got worst, before it got better. I quit cold turkey style, so on the road to sobriety there were a lot of temptations. Shaky hands, tremors, night sweats, and depression. Not just because I lost my social lubricant, no… I’m talking aboyt the depression that came with sobriety. I felt like I had lost my friend, like something was missing in my life and not to mention how everything around me felt hella boring without booze.

Just like in Gwen’s case my alcoholism was brought on by a traumatic childhood, and the inability to cope with the trauma as an adult. Vodka (for a while) made me forget about that part of my life, but it also made me realize how my drinking affected my relationship with my family. My drinking was a huge concern for my mother, and it took years for our relationship to get strong again.

28 Days is absolutely fantastic movie. You’ve got the most boring setting in the world, and the most eccentric lovable characters to occupy it. The humor is also fantastic, and the whole movie is lead by Sandra’s fantastic performance.

I highly recommend it. You know… Before Ocean’s 8.


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