Sofia Coppola directs Katie Chang, Emma Watson, Israel Broussard in The Bling Ring based off the article published in the Vanity Fair Magazine about the series of burglaries that hit the Hollywood It set.
This movie serves as my introduction to Coppola whose work has been vastly admired and something that I have been meaning to get into but just haven’t been able to. And on first viewing it is easy to dismiss The Bling Ring as a social commentary on the vapid celebrity driven culture that is currently plaguing America (and many others). But Coppola is a brilliant director who has created a layered movie with each character having being written so effortlessly and so accurately that it feels intimate the more you think about it.
The opening shot of Emma Watson going on a rant that if taken out of context would not be very different from those hilarious videos of the pageant queens stumbling through answers. But when that moment actually arrives in the movie you realize the portrait of a fragile young girl who has self-image issues and is trying to overcome those by seeking the attention in the worst possible ways.
Of the cast every single one of them is competent and does a fantastic job of being despicable young adults, Katie Chang as Rebecca the ring leader, Israel Broussard as Marc , Claire Julien as Chloe, Emma Watson as Nicki. Katie Chang reminds me of Ellen Paige from Hard Candy and that is a fantastic comparison to have.
The styling of these individuals is impeccable and seems to jump right off the pages of the magazines. And the scenes are framed beautifully. The late Harris Savides who previously captured the dark monotones of Zodiac and American Gangsters collaborates here with Christopher Blauvelt to ring a airy Californian vibe to the entire proceeding
I do have one gripe with the movie though – the scenes of robbery do get repetitive after the first two and maybe the third could have been shown through just the news clippings or could have been avoided completely till the final reveal when Nicki shares a prison cell with Lohan. The movie sticks closely to the article in Vanity Fair and I wish a little more time was spent on the characters outside of the nightclubs and the fancy dresses because they make for very interesting character studies.
I would highly recommend this movie as not only a social commentary on the cultural depravity that is ruining the youth with gossip sites and magazines and unhealthy body image but also as a wonderful foray into psyche of the young people who have fallen prey to this madness.