Review No. 595
Sofia Coppola’s “Trainspotting” with robbery instead of heroin.
Director — Sofia Coppola
Producer — Ms. Coppola, Roman Coppola & Youree Henley
Screenplay — Ms. Coppola
Based on — “The Suspects Wore Louboutins” by Nancy Jo Sales
Israel Broussard — Marc Hall
Katie Chang — Rebecca Ahn
Taissa Farmiga — Sam Moore
Claire Julien — Chloe Tayner
Georgia Rock — Emily Moore
Emma Watson — Nicki Moore
Leslie Mann — Laurie Moore
With Paris Hilton and Kirsten Dunst as themselves.
Also featuring archive footage with Lindsay Lohan, Audrina Patridge, Rachel Bilson, Miranda Kerr, and Orlando Bloom.
Distributor — A24
Release Date — June 14, 2013
Language — English
Country — USA, United Kingdom, France, Germany & Japan
Running Time — 1 hour, 30 minutes
MPAA — — TEEN DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE, AND FOR LANGUAGE INCLUDING SOME BRIEF SEXUAL REFERENCES.
Sofia Coppola is arguably as noteworthy as any other in her prestigious family. Three years ago, she became the first American woman (and the fourth American overall) to earn the top-prize Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. A decade ago, Lost in Translation made her the third woman to be nominated for Best Director, and the first American woman. Why she didn’t take home the Oscar is beyond me. Ms. Coppola has style in every sense of the word. She always looks fabulous, and not only do her films have style, the style is composed of fashion. Ironically, that’s what makes them so cinematic, and that’s realized in The Bling Ring. As you might guess, it’s in both style and story.
The Bling Ring is so (sooo) clearly a caricature on a rather blinded part of our reality, where fashion becomes the apple of discord. It does to greed what Network did to publicity. Yes, this provides a few flaws. Coppola’s writing does go a bit over the top, and under the script’s assumptions that celebrities’ houses could be easy to find and break into, it’s not always a good thing. Though we can forget about those mistakes with caricatures that are at least half as good as Peter Finch’s legendary “mad as hell” propaganda.
The propaganda here is just as convincing, because this happens all the time; we don’t need to be told that this is “based on a true story,” because it’s so clear. The Bling Ring is Sofia Coppola’s Trainspotting. No, it’s not about heroin-addicted Scots, but it bears a familiar atmosphere in telling the moral tales of American teenagers who rob celebrities’ houses. Even Emma Watson echoes Ewan McGregor in her own tour de force. None of the acts are for publicity, just greed, and Watson is the only one who can’t stand being corrupted. I won’t criticize Coppola for not constructing a successful cautionary tale. Is there any director who could? You see the misfortune, though. These teens are idiots, using their heads in school and their guts in life. And if reading the news isn’t enough, these teens actually exist–even ones who would dig so much deeper after being assigned a probation officer!
Coppola’s major greatness is in the sharp, snappy dialogue. Even with such loathsome characters, this movie works great as a partial black comedy. Scratch that, it’s not the dialogue that works best. Even such witty understanding of the characters is topped by the style. In terms of the audio and visual aspects, The Bling Ring is fierce and fearless. Harry Savides and Christopher Blauvelt are both credited for cinematography. Often times, this will mean that one of the two left production, but the movie probably required two cinematographers. It’s edited by Sarah Flack to fit with dynamic music cues. From someone who loathes the mainstream music genre, the use of electronica music was rather enjoyable. Sofia Coppola has never been one aspiring to blow minds. But when she digs deep enough into The Bling Ring, and the results are more than impressive.