Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring - Better Late Than Never!

Movies Reviews

The Bling Ring – Movie Review

By Anne Brodie Jun 24, 2013, 16:28 GMT

Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the internet to track celebrities\' whereabouts in order to rob their homes.
Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the internet to track celebrities\' whereabouts in order to rob their homes. ...more

The Bling Ring is a group of celebrity-obsessed LA teens who won notoriety in 2009 when they were convicted of breaking into at least fifty homes including those of Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, Megan Fox, Orlando Bloom and Paris Hilton, and stealing $3M dollars in clothes, shoes, jewels, cash and handbags. 

Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga and Carlos Miranda play the teenaged hit squad that preyed on B list stars Coppola’s smart and nuanced film that raises worrisome issues about life in certain circles.
The so-called “Hollywood Hills Burglars” were allegedly “typical” highschoolers in the Valley, smoking pot, partying on the beach, lusting after top brand name goods and watching every move made by celebrities.  They began tracking stars on gossip and newssites, learning when they’d be away and Googling their home addresses. 
The robbery habit grew on the ringleader’s momentary urge for a thrill. She started on unlocked cars and moved to luxury homes.  Soon she was joined by five or six others and they would go to a stars empty home to “shop”.
Coppola stages a robbery in a glass home, shooting two Blingers from the top of a nearby hill.   She shoots wide as they enter the house and switch on the lights, ransack the house, and get in and out in a few minutes, all in one take.  It is unsettling, as security measures fail to kick in and they leave loaded down with booty.  Shows how quick and easy it is for even a casual thief to get in and score.
Coppola spends time on the mothers of the teens. One girl was homeschooled on The Secret” method, another may have been neglected by his single father, another spoiled and wealthy, etcetera.  Lax parenting and abuse triggered risk taking behaviors seem to be key factors. 
The bigger picture is a grim one.  Young girls and boys are peppered with images of what it is to be a successful person - rich, beautiful, well dressed, in the latest shoes and bag, and they want to be part of it.   Given the limitation of their lives, it wouldn’t be possible on their own, so they built a fantasy world in which they shop the stars’ closets for things rightfully theirs. 
There is no remorse or guilt until the police interviews and it is patently fake.  Coppola does a solid job of telling the story and introducing contributing factors without ever resorting to the sensational.  It feels like a personal, intimate drama between a few friends which is what it must have been like for the real life bling ring.   Just another experience.  That’s what makes Coppola’s work so moving.  It is natural and organic and the thing grows on its own time table.
There are a few funs cameos.  Gavin Rossdale plays a smarmy petty criminal; there isnews footage of the star victims and even a celeb house walk on.  Paris Hilton’s actual home, built in nightclub and all, plays itself.
Visit the movie database for more information.
35mm drama
Written by Sofia Coppola and Nancy Jo Sales
Directed by Sofia Coppola
Opens:  June 21
Runtime: 95 minutes
MPAA: Rated R for teen drug and alcohol use, and for language including some brief sexual references
Country: USA
Language: English

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