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  • Bling Ring, The | Review

    By | June 12, 2013


    Director: Sofia Coppola

    Writers: Sofia Coppola, Nancy Jo Sales (based on the Vanity Fair article “The Suspect Wore Louboutins”)

    Starring: Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga, Georgia Rock, Leslie Mann, Carlos Miranda, Gavin Rossdale, Stacy Edwards, G. Mac Brown, Marc Coppola, Janet Song, Annie Fitzgerald

    Marc (Israel Broussard) meets Rebecca (Katie Chang) during his first day at a new high school. The two instantly discover a unique kinship in their adoration of high fashion and celebrity culture. Unable to afford the high dollar items they so eloquently ogle, they commence a burglary spree of celebrity homes. After suffering no repercussions from their first couple of break-ins, they invite some of their like-minded friends — Nicki (Emma Watson), Sam (Taissa Farmiga) and Chloe (Claire Julien) — along for a self-guided, all-inclusive tour of the homes of Hollywood’s most famous narcissists.

    Keeping a keen eye on the gossip columns and utilizing simple Google searches, they know the home addresses for Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Audrina Patridge, Megan Fox and Rachel Bilson, as well as precisely when the stars will be away from home. It is not without irony that the celebrities play the roles of the temptresses and the innocent victims with no privacy. Celebrities donning extravagantly priced clothing and accessories seem to be challenging their admirers to take it away from them; they probably only wear those items once or twice before tossing them into a closet that is larger than most bedrooms. Being that they seem to leave the doors of their opulent abodes unlocked (or keys within reach), seems to suggest that they just don’t care about their possessions anyway. Of course that does not give anyone the right to steal their stuff.

    The fivesome quickly evolve into “super rich kids with nothing but loose ends” (Frank Ocean’s “Super Rich Kids”), getting wasted at the hippest nightclubs while donning the finest of celebrity couture. Their overindulgence in a laundry list of illicit substances obviously contributes to their feeling of invincibility. As they begin to brag about their escapades and flaunt their extravagant conquests on Facebook, it becomes increasingly obvious that their high is only going to last so long (interspersed footage from video confessionals also gives this away).

    Extreme wealth is flaunted in front of our eyes every waking day of our lives, like the carrot of the Capitalist system being dangled just out of our reach. Rebecca and Marc figured out how to snatch that carrot, thus becoming media celebrities in their own right; like Bonnie and Clyde, famous for taking their just deserts from the uber-rich.

    As if using cinema as therapy to deal with her own guilt trip for being brought up into Hollywood opulence, writer-director Sofia Coppola once again delivers us into a world of spoiled young people grappling with their warped sense of entitlement. Coppola addresses the socio-economics of the situation, specifically the inherent jealousy of the vast divide between us and them. The influence of wealth and fame-obsessed popular culture weighs heavily upon the protagonists, as if the auto-tuned boasts of their favorite singers has brainwashed them with unabashed vanity; they are zombified Hollywood teens salivating for the finest of celebrity couture.

    Rating: 7/10

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