50 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Exposing the hollowness of the bling culture,
"The Bling Ring" (2013 release; 90 min.) brings the now-familiar story of how a group of teenagers living in suburban Los Angeles, with too much time on their hands and an insatiable appetite for "bling", decide to start robbing houses of celebrities while they are out of town. I am not spoiling the plot when I tell you that the "group of five" (4 girls and 1 guy), along with a couple of others, eventually get found out and caught. The first 50-55 min. of the movie deal with the break-ins and the remainder of the movie looks at what happens after their arrests.
Several comments: this is the 5th feature movie directed by Sofia Coppola, and as has been the case with her previous films, this movie is highly stylish in the way it looks at and brings the lives of these teenagers. In fact, the movie is eye-candy pretty much from start to finish. Coppola wrote the script based on the 2010 Vanity Fair article that exposed it all in details not seen before. As to the Bling Ring members themselves: it is perhaps somewhat understandable as to why Marc would get involved with this, as he is new to the school and desparately trying to fit in and make friends. But what about the four girls? There seems no rhyme or reason, other than the "need for greed", while apparently lacking any and all moral compass. Equally telling is the almost entire absence of parenting. Yes, there are parents, but they are too busy or too clueless. At some point we see Marc's dad asking Marc and Nicki what they are doing (while they are smoking weed in Marc's bedroom), and when Nicki simply says "sorry we made too much noise", Marc's dad simply walks away. An equally telling moment is when Nicki gets interviewed by a reporter towards the end, and she gets visibily irritated when her mom (played beautiflully in a small role by Leslie Mann) says a few words (interjects herself, in Nicki's mind), and she hisses "mom, this interview is about ME!" Yes indeed, the "me! me! me! culture is everywhere. The role of Nicki is played by Emma Watson, and she seems only to get better and better in her post-Harry Potter days (last year in the excellent "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and recently also in a minor role in "This Is the End"). Can't wait to see what she'll do next.
Coppola doesn't take a strong "social stand" as such in the movie. Instead, she lets the camera do all the talking, easily exposing the hollowness of the bling culture. "The Bling Ring" opened with a lot of positive vibes at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and the screening where I saw this at here in Cincinnati this afternoon was reasonably well attended for a matinee. It might be the case of clever counter-programming, as it appears every week there is another superhero movie or some other mega-production movie opens (how many Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, After Earth, World War Z and other such movies can a person see in one summer?). If you are in the mood for something else, "The Bling Ring" may be just the thing for you. Slick and entertaining, yet exposing the moral vacuum that exists in certain environments, this movie flew by in no time. "The Bling Ring" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Initial post: Sep 19, 2013 11:16:59 AM PDT
RK Tolbert says:
Great review, thanks for all that info. I didn't get a chance to see in theaters due to its limited release, but I look forward to buying and watching this soon.
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