bill bodkin is about to YOLO his ass off …
Plot: Sofia Coppola dramatizes the notorious and nearly unbelievable true story of “The Bling Ring” a group of privileged California teens who rob from celebrities like Paris Hilton.
After viewing The Bling Ring you’re going to hate a lot of things.
First, you’re going to hate young celebrities. As evidenced in this film, “stars” like Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Lindsay Lohan and even a legit actor like Orlando Bloom are absolute idiots. There’s no other way to put it. These people left their houses open or left keys under a door mat or didn’t have an alarm system and that allowed a group of completely amateur thieves (read: spoiled Cali teens) to ransack their houses of millions of dollars in property. Seriously, this writer lives in a small house in Jersey and my security is better than these celebs, who can afford a private army if they wanted.
Second, you’re really, really going to hate teenagers. The YOLO-ing, the selfies, the duck face, the lousy music, the obnoxious fashion, the obsession with reality stars and pseudo-celebs and the blatant disregard for everything but their own personal satisfaction. They’re also complete idiots. They never wore masks or gloves, they bragged about their robberies to anyone who’d listen and of course they posted pics of them with the stolen goods on Facebook. You kinda wanna punch them in the face.
Yet there’s one, very important thing, you’re not going to hate … and that’s The Bling Ring as a movie.
Sofia Coppola knows how to direct a damn good movie. Her visual choices in the film were some of her best to date and the soundtrack she used to score this film — perfection. She does a brilliant job of creating a world of just insane excess as if the film were her own, updated version of Less Than Zero (minus the heroine … we think). Yet, The Bling Ring is not all sizzle and shimmer, it’s got some really terrific dramatic moments in it. The best, without equivocation, is when Taissa Farmiga (the sis of Vera Farmiga) discovers a gun in Megan Fox’s house and then carelessly and then maniacally terrorizes the ring’s only fulltime male member Marc (Israel Broussard).
On the performance and character development side of things, The Bling Ring has some faults. The leader of the group, Becca (Katie Chang) is a very underdeveloped character when she should be this terrifically complex one. Becca’s a manipulative, bitchy mean girl who’s obsessed with Lindsay Lohan — but we’re told that, not shown any reason why she is this way. There’s a couple of glimpses into this but one or two more scenes focused on her would’ve really been helpful to her character.
Also, the character of Marc is a bit undercooked. He always seems like this unwilling partner in the robberies, but yet he loves the rewards of it so much. It’s a bit forced after a while. How many times can he say, “We need to get out of here” and then we cut to a scene of him making it rain or doing lines of coke because off the loot he stole. His character could’ve been a lot more interesting. His sexuality is never really explored, his dependence on Becca is really only suggested. His character was definitely a gold mine that could’ve been exploited to the hilt.
However, there might be a reason for the cast’s underdevelopment and that’s Emma Watson. Watson portrays Nicki who is based off of real-life Bling Ringer Alexis Neiers, the group’s most well-known member. For those who may have forgotten, Neiers had a series on E! right around the time she got busted and also had a number of well-documented public outbursts during her trial.
Emma Watson absolutely steals the entire film. Lil’ Hermione Granger has grown up in a big way and in this film she’s transformed herself into a trashy, fame-obsessed party girl. She owns every second she’s on screen exuding such despicable narcissism that you can’t believe this was the same nerdy muggle from the HP films. This role was her breakout performance and we’ll say it here first — she is destined for an Oscar Nomination because of this role.
All and all, The Bling Ring is a brilliant look at stupidity, a unique case study of teenage obsession with fame and most importantly a solidly entertaining film.