Sunday, September 22, 2013

Now at Netflix: The Bling Ring (2013)

The Bling Ring (2013) - Written and Directed by Sofia Coppola; Starring Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga.

By Kenny Howell

A couple of self-obsessed turds go on a burglary spree in the Hollywood Hills in this based on a true story film from Oscar winner Sofia Coppola.

The Bling Ring was a gang of friends led by Rebecca (Chang) who robbed homes of celebrities like Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Rachel Bilson and Orlando Bloom. They would find out when they were going to be out of town, then find a way into their homes, often spending quite awhile in there, and taking some items with them when they went. They were eventually caught and did time for their spree.

The story can be taken a couple of ways, one of rebellious youths living the high life in Hollywood, or an indictment of celebrity culture and mass consumption. Coppola doesn't really take either of these, even though she hints at both. The movie could have been ultra stylistic which I understand would have glamorized these little punks, but would have at least made you understand their desire to do this. Bonnie & Clyde is even mentioned at one point of the film. Or you could have really poured on the group's obsession with different celebrities and items. Rebecca's obsession with Lindsey Lohan is talked about, but only briefly. They talk about different celebrities or designer clothes they like, but it never really hits home. That leaves the movie feeling kind of aimless.

As far as the acting goes, Watson is the only one that seems to get it. Her Nicki is the same vapid morons that seem to somehow keep getting reality shows. She seems to be the only one that is willing to go all in. Chang just seems to play Rebecca as oblivious of reality. I am sure that is how she is, but it keeps you distant from her character. Broussard's Marc is the character that is kind of pressured into it all because he has finally found a group of people that like him. Broussard does what he can with the role, but there isn't that much to it.

The movie is based on a Vanity Fair article by Nancy Jo Sales.

The Bling Ring is also available at Redbox, iTunes and Amazon Instant.

Rating: **

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