The Bling Ring

The power is out at my apartment until, perhaps, Wednesday so this blog is coming to you from Paul Westerberg’s house. I just thought I’d check it out and luckily the key was under the mat.

Just kidding.

There is in fact no power at my place, but I did not resort to breaking and entering  just to write this. Fresh off of seeing Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring,” I am pondering the obsession with fame that would lead someone to break into the house of a person they admire.

I think that is the point of the film. It is based on the true story of a group of wayward teens living in the Valley in California who go on a burglary spree at celebrities’ houses.

Coppola used Nancy Jo Sales’ article in Vanity Fair, “The Suspects Wore Louboutins,” as the backdrop for her screenplay.

In the film, Marc (Israel Broussard)  is the new kid at Indian Hills alternative school in the Hollywood Hills. He is soon taken in by Rebecca (Katie Chang) to hang out after school and go to clubs.

Coppola did not use the real names of the teens in the film.

Marc and Rebecca’s time together soon turns away from surfing the web after school and getting coffee. They, along with a crew of their classmates, party, do drugs and eventually become serial burglars in the Hollywood Hills.

Rebecca is definitely the ring leader and the most obsessed with famous people and their material possessions. They raided Paris Hilton’s house several times and also broke into the homes of Lindsey Lohan, Orlando Bloom and Rachel Bilson.

Coppola’s visual depiction of the teens’ escapades is a plus of the film and viewers who favor her stylistic choices will appreciate it on that level.

She mixes loud music and party scenes with those of silence and dialogue well, but there is not much connection to be had with the characters. I think the actors (mostly unknowns except for Emma Watson) cast as “The Bling Ring” were realistic in their portrayal of superficial and naive teens.

It seems Coppola stayed very true to her source material and maybe there just isn’t any depth in the real-life characters for the average viewer to relate to.

But, if that is any part of the story, I wish Coppola would have explored it a little bit more.

Overall it is a fascinating story and “The Bling Ring” fits into, at least for me, the escape of going to the movies.

I need to explore more of Coppola’s work, but the films I have seen focus on different facets of fame.

Watch (and then watch again and again) “Lost and Translation,” and give “Somewhere” a try before seeing “The Bling Ring.”


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