Writer: Sofia Coppola
(Based on the Vanity Fair article “The Suspect Wore Louboutins” by Nancy Jo Sales)
Based on the true story of a bunch of fame obsessed asshole teenagers who robbed B-List celebrity homes for a little and then got caught. A story that could really only exist today. They would search online to find out who was out of town, locate their houses and then just walk right in, later bragging about their conquests to friends and online via Facebook practically begging to be caught. It wasn’t enough to have the money to blow on coke or bottle service, they had to show everyone pictures of them dancing in Paris Hilton’s nightclub room. Of course the kinds of teens obsessed with non celebrities like Audrina Patridge would be that narcissistic and dumb.
Coppola shoots the film with her vaguely dream like fly on the wall style, frequently letting scenes play out, as if these kids so caught up in what they were doing and desperate for attention actually hired a documentary crew to film them during their burglaries. The style works when coupled with modern brat type music like Sleigh Bells and M.I.A. The style is impeccable, perfectly capturing the moment of time, but what else is going on here?
I guess my main issue is that yes these are shallow people but why is that? What else is happening here? The movie never really got that in depth enough for my liking. Emma Watson’s character Nicki, who is based on a person who eventually got her own show on E after There is definitely something going on in the air in terms of celebrity and internet culture and there is something interesting there to explore. Recent films like Killing Them Softly, Spring Breakers, and Paid & Gain fit in with The Bling Ring in that they tap into this modern frustration with what exactly is the American dream in our current world. Does it exist anymore? Did it ever?
I like the story, and there are scenes and performances out that are very entertaining, but it feels like something is just a little missing. You can feel where the movie is going in terms of the characters being caught but the resolution itself just feels king of limp like “that’s it?” Like all of Coppola’s films it is immaculately shot and styled but I think I would’ve liked just a little more meat.