The Bling Ring

The Bling Ring

Postby CAP » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:37 pm

Sofia Coppola’s latest, but not greatest. I give it 4. Based on something like a Vanity Fair article – a true story in other words! - about a gang of high school spoilt brats (16 yr olds), obsessed with celebrity that start robbing celebs’ homes in the Hollywood Hills, as a kind of pathological way to be nearer their idols. Obviously not a theme many of us will identify with. It was a stretch for me, I'll admit. The film’s first job is really to try and explain why these kids are driven to these stupid lengths and unfortunately this kind of scripting, trad character-building or psychology is not Sophia’s forte. She’s a watcher not a teller. True, she knows the milieu and even gets Paris Hilton (one of the actual victim celebs) to allow her house to be used as a location, and there are cameos by Kirsten Dunst and Gavin Rossdale so all that stuff’s in place. What’s missing really is a story.

We have shy kid (Israel Broussard as Marc Hall) at new school taken up by the class clotheshorse, (Katie Chang as Rebecca Ahn) who is a bit of a babe yet mysteriously has no boyfriends. Huh? I mean like no boyfriends – no sex life – not even any discussion. Nudity – not happening. Boy was I in the wrong movie. Anyway Marc is probably gay but we never get into that. He’s into fashion and wants to be a stylist. Naturally he keeps this quiet at Indian Hills High School in Calabasas. He dresses ‘straight’, zones out. One day he’ll be a senator. Rebecca is supposed to be the ringleader but no one really admires her. She’s pretty but vacant with a capital V. Her parents are divorced - gotta be an issue there. She sort of buys attention at clubs and stuff. These kids are already well-heeled (Calabasas is for the rich), so we know it’s not about the money. It’s about being in the loop, one of the beautiful people. Yes they are shallow, but not exactly stupid. They know this stuff pays off at a certain point. The world works that way once you get into the right circles. They’re just looking for a short cut, a few lucky charms.

Anyway it starts off just the two of them and then snowballs as they hit more celeb homes, take more stuff, take along more accomplices – get greedy, careless and caught on CCTV. Then it all comes tumbling down. Of minor interest is Emma Watson playing one of the Ring’s more calculating flakes, Nicki Moore, although I was more taken with her adopted sister, Sam, played by Taissa Farmiga, out of American Horror Story. The flakiness of the Moore family seemed overplayed to me, but then I don’t really know that scene. It's not like an air force family, I get that much. Maybe needed someone like a David Lynch to really do justice to that sort of daffiness. Probably the strongest scene is when just the two of them break into Audrina Patridge’s home. I’ve no idea who she is. But that’s actually her name, not typos. The whole break-in is filmed in a single take, on long lens, as they scamper about the empty, amply lit house on a hilltop, the camera ever so slowly zooming in to capture their sauntering panache. There is a slight jerk on the top of the zoom, as it commences, but I’m not complaining because apparently the DP died not long after completing this production. Respeck!

Anyway most of them go to jail, you can read about the real characters on the Wiki page for Bling Ring. No one really cares because you never got to know any of them well enough apart from their fascination with celebrity and otherwise idle, empty lives. Rich kids! :twisted:
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