Given Sofia Coppola’s talent (not to mention the amount of nepotism surrounding her), you’d think The Bling Ring would be great. The same amount of nothing that works for Lost In Translation (and didn’t for Somewhere), also doesn’t work for her latest art-house venture.
The film is based on the true story of teenagers who are obsessed with celebrities and the fabulous lifestyle that comes along with fame, but instead of making their way into whichever industry they’re chasing after, they decide to steal it. The repeat offenders go after Paris Hilton’s property the most with the most perpetuating greed I’ve seen in any characters and you’d be surprised to find that these are real people.
Paris Hilton was rumored to be in a few scenes, but ended up in only one shot alongside Kirsten Dunst which was a disappointment, because she seemed to be the only real redeemable aspect of this movie. Well… She’s not the only redeemable aspect. Leslie Mann is quite wonderful in playing the mother of the spoiled brat that is Nicki (Emma Watson).
From the opening sequence which features the teens tearing through the mansion of some out-of-town celebrity, it’s just the kids throwing around punchlines like “I want to rob,” and “Let’s go shopping.” While it does have some of the qualities of the classic art-house cinema film, it doesn’t hold up with story, which is primarily what the film is lacking.
Every moment when you think there’d be some form of payoff from being on the edge of your seat for five minutes just doesn’t happen. Not to spoil the film, but it doesn’t get more exciting than watching people walking around on-screen. To add more insult to injury, the script seems to be Sofia’s longest yet running at 82 pages (still short 8 from Hollywood “minimum”), but as an established filmmaker, she seems to make whatever film she’s compelled to do.
The film does pick up the final 25 minutes, but it’s still not worth the inflated $12.50 ticket price and definitely not the reported $20 million it cost to make (the production value isn’t even really all there). You end up not caring for any of the shallow cut-out characters or even the protagonist Marc, who always paces around whichever mansion they’re at suggesting they leave, but somehow continues tagging along and by the end, you just want the kids to get a life sentence. The only reason to watch the film is if you haven’t followed the story in the news and have no idea how it all unfolds.