The Bling Ring (2013): Sofia Coppola's recounting of the infamous Bling Ring, a group of teenagers who are obsessed with robbing famous celebrities.
Ok so...man I don't know how to feel about this movie. Hopefully as I express my thoughts I will become more certain of my feelings, but right now I am lost. First of all, the concept is very interesting. There are a lot of ideas in this movie that really got me thinking. For example, how would the outside world respond to the Bling Ring? Would they be viewed as a Robin Hood-like group? I mean after all they are stealing from the rich and famous. Taking one of their 10,000 pairs of shoes....the rich and famous don't deserve that, right? Or, how would this experience affect those involved emotionally? Would their thrill of stealing bubble over out of Hollywood celebrities into the general population? Why are all these famous celebrities leaving their house unlocked when they go on long trips? Would their desire for a specific article of clothing or something begin to separate the group as it happens throughout various robberies? Why are they doing this in the first place? How do they justify stealing in any way, shape, or form? All of these are questions brought up in the movie, but NONE of them are answered in any sort of detail whatsoever. The Sofia Coppola style of directing is present here, and it is majorly detrimental to the film and its ideas. Her style is as such: I felt at all times detached from the situation, like I was simply watching a series of events unfold in front of me while simultaneously not learning anything about the characters' motivations in the process. The entire group was interchangeable, even the guy. By the way I think the guy was gay, because after all he has all these gorgeous women around him and yet makes no effort to get with any of them. This point is unimportant though so I'll move on.
This is one of those movies where poor writing (also done by Sofia Coppola) really brings down the acting here. It's a shame because the actors in this all put in pretty good performances, with Emma Watson obviously leading the group. I know it's now a few months ago, but this and This is the End both came out in the same week. Watson is trying desperately to get rid of the Hermione Granger persona that surrounds her so she can become successful. Personally I think she is far too beautiful and talented to get lost in Harry Potter but that's irrelevant. Her character is the closest any of them get to a story arc, and yet it is still pretty bad. None of them are likeable, and none of them are redeemed or better because of this experience. As I said this felt like I was just watching a series of event unfold before me and nothing more.
This movie is repetitive. MAN is it repetitive. They go into like 5-10 different celebrities homes, and, with the exception of one, were all shot the EXACT same way. That one however....that one was pretty awesome. I don't recall who's house they were breaking into, but the shot was taken in one single long wide-shot of the house from the outside as they go inside and do their thing. This and there's a moment with a gun that created a rather significant amount of suspense and tension are the two most memorable scenes in the movie. However these 5 minutes of film can't save the other 85 minutes of borderline garbage. Oh ya I've figured out how I feel about this movie. I didn't like it. The only other cool thing about this film is that the scenes that involved Paris Hilton's house were (apparently) shot in Paris Hilton's real house. And they are all choreographed pretty well to give us a feel of how celebrities live. Not that I would ever want to have a shoe room with 10,000 pairs of shoes or a stripper pole but that's just me.
The Critique: a conglomerate of good and bad. Bad writing, bad directing, good acting, and good choreography all mixed into one. But the writing and directing overshadow the great potential of this film. Sorry Frances Ford Coppola, but maybe you should give your daughter some directing lessons....
The Recommendation: if you want to see how the 1% lives, you might have enough material here to keep you interested, but that's just about the only people who might find this film interesting.
The Verdict: 3.5/10 pretty bad
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