Much creepy attention has been lavished on photos doing the rounds of Emma Watson pole dancing (Hermione’s legal!) in ‘The Bling Ring’. But the real story here isn’t the good-girl-goes-bad stunt casting; it’s that Watson can act. Against the odds, the Harry Potter star gives a sharp, knowing smart performance as Nicki, one of a gang of spoiled rich Californian brats robbing the houses of celebs who, like, totally deserve it. Directed by Sofia Coppola (‘Lost in Translation’, ‘Marie Antoinette’), this is a funny, sarky, bang-on portrayal of the freakiness of celeb obsession. The story would sound outrageous – if it wasn’t true.
Between 2008 and 2009 a gang of high-schoolers, who became known by the media as The Bling Ring, stole more than $3m (£1.9m) in clothes, cash, jewellery and art from the homes of Paris Hilton (who makes a brief appearance), Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan and more. Using gossip sites like TMZ, they calculated when their victims would be out of town and googled their addresses. Easy as. Hilton was even so kind as to leave a key under her doormat. Not exactly criminal masterminds, The Bling Ring took selfies of themselves in designer swag and brazenly posted them on Facebook.
In Coppola’s last film, ‘Somewhere’, she depicted the meaningless of celebrity life. Here she nails the cult of celebrity worship. In a disturbingly funny scene, ringleader Rebecca (Katie Chang) stands in Lindsay Lohan’s bedroom smothering herself with Lilo’s perfume, staring at herself in the mirror in almost drugged-up ecstasy. This isn’t just about nabbing a Hermès Birkin bag (price tag approx $10,000) for free, it’s about fantasy. ‘I’ve never been an A-lister guy,’ says the gang’s only boy. By wearing Orlando Bloom’s Rolex, he’s living the dream.
In films like ‘Lost in Translation’ and ‘The Virgin Suicides’, Coppola gave us lost girls, somehow trapped. These girls are lost too. It’s just kind of hard to take them seriously. Here’s Nicki in regulation A-list sunglasses talking to the cameras when the gang is finally busted: ‘I’m a firm believer in karma… I want to lead a country one day.’ Through some kind of meta-weirdness, the gang soon became as famous as the celebs they stole from. This is easily Coppola’s funniest film. Leslie Mann is hilarious as Nicki’s phony spiritual mum. Rebecca wants to take Paris’s dog. ‘You can’t steal her dog!’ ‘But he likes me!’ In 20 years’ time, ‘The Bling Ring’ will surely feel like a time capsule of now.
Cast and crew
Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
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Excellent film but only if you are on the same sort of wave-length as Sofia Coppola. Otherwise stay away as after seeing the film it is completely predictable that most people will dislike it.
There comes a time in every great empire when depravity and venality becomes so prominent that it signposts the empire's demise. If this film is anything to go by then America is on borrowed time. This is a film about idle poor little rich kids who want nothing more to be idle rich famous little rich kids. They don't earn it so they decide to take it from the rich and famous who to be honest if they leave doors open and unlocked and don't set alarms then they deserve to be robbed. We follow a group of teens who think underage drinking, drugs and sex is the way forward and live on the proceeds of theft. None of the parents, including the highly irritating Mann as Watson's mum, seem to know what their kids do or even care. A film about people who are annoying and a waste of oxygen who get famous by robbing people just one step up the evolutionary chain. A one star total waste of time film.
A truly dreadful film: utterly banal, pointless, and lacking in irony. The sort of film you'd switch off after a feeww minutes if it came on TV.
I found this a disappointing film. It seemed to promise so much, but ended up delivering little. The whole time I was waiting for it to start - a little like a car needing an ignition key to be turned to start it. I do not mix in this social grouping , so I had no idea if it is true to life, ot not. But the film left me curiously not wanting to know about these characters. A definite miss from me..