Jennie’s Review: The Bling Ring

Letter Grade:

The Good:

The acting is good
The cinematography fits the subject matter perfectly

The Bad:

Narrow Audiance

Cast & Crew:

Directed by Sofia Coppola
Screenplay Written by Sofia Coppola, base on the Vanity Fair article by Nancy Jo Sales
Starring: Emma Watson, Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga, Leslie Mann

Rated R for teen drug and alcohol use, and for language including some brief sexual references

The film opens with a lot of fast cuts of celebrities being photographed by paparazzi and intercut with scenes of Marc (Israel Broussard) giving an interview about his involvement in the “Bling Ring” and Nicki (Emma Watson) responding to reporters outside of the courtroom.  Cut to before everyone was arrested, and we see Marc starting his first day at a new high school.  He meets Rebecca (Katie Chang), a popular affluent girl who befriends him immediately.  Not too far in, we discover that Rebecca has an affinity for high-end petty theft (mainly checking to see if the cars in her wealthy neighborhood are unlocked and stealing some of the contents when they are).  She invites Marc into her (not very well kept) secret and the two of them start on a path that very quickly lands them in the homes of the rich and famous (Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, etc), and subsequently, jail.

the-bling-ring-katie-chang-israel-broussardThis film is based on the actual events surrounding the people involved in the real life Bling Ring and inspired by a Vanity Fair article written by Nancy Jo Sales titled “The Suspects Wore Louboutins”.  If you haven’t followed any of this real story or seen footage of a few of the perpetrators, I suggest you do so before you see this movie so you can get a sense of the persons involved in this story.  The most “famous” person that a character is based on is Alexis Neiers who had a short lived reality show on E!.  Emma Watson’s character Nicki is based on her, and because of her show, there is a seemingly endless supply of footage to lampoon.  I particularly recommend a video that was featured on The Soup that shows Alexis leaving a voicemail for Sales after the article was released.

After Paris Hilton saw the film (which was partially filmed in her actual home that was burglarized), she said that she was embarrassed about the fact that it is now public knowledge that she did in fact leave her house unlocked and that she didn’t notice that she was missing things for quite awhile. Personally, I think she should also be embarrassed by how much narcissism is displayed in her house and how much excess she indulges in… but I’m not an heiress, so whatever.

Bling-Ring-Watson-600This movie is slow, probably because it’s based on actual events, and most actual events don’t play out like a Die Hard movie. Especially when the people breaking and entering are spoiled, clueless, entitled teenagers.  They rob a place and then head over to the club (despite all being underage), sit in the VIP section, drink, text, post pictures from their phones to Facebook, and talk about the celebrities in the club.  Not exactly riveting.  What it is though (seemingly), is accurate.  From what I’ve seen and read about this story, the portrayals of the teenagers (and Nicki’s mom played by Leslie Mann) are spot on.  Watson does a wonderful job and I am glad that she has seamlessly gone from Hermione to a wide variety of roles.  It also does a wonderful job at showing how deep the celebrity-obsessed culture can go and how far removed some people can be from reality.  That is of course assuming the audience isn’t already in that category.

the-bling-ring-emma-watson-israel-broussardThis movie will probably never stretch too far beyond limited release since its target audience seems pretty narrow.  My guess would be that it will mainly attract people who have been following the story, those who already really enjoy Sophia Coppala films, huge Emma Watson fans, and trendy young adults.  I guess that’s OK, but I have a feeling a lot of those trendy young adults will have personalities similar to (or aspire to be like) the culprits themselves.  This movie is well acted, directed, and filmed, but it just isn’t as engaging as I would have hoped. It really doesn’t need to be seen in a theater (or probably at all if you don’t fall into any of the target audience categories I mentioned above).  If you are interested though, at home on the couch so you can online shop for your own Louboutins online while watching it would be fine. (In case you don’t know me, that last part was meant with sarcasm.)

Jennie Stoddart (24 Posts)

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