Most everyone I know seemed to need to be reminded about the release of Sophia Coppola's latest flick. Hype was brewing for me since I first read about Emma on set two years ago, so maybe it was only that any story based on true events couldn't possibly hold up to what it became in my chick flick fanatic fantasies.
The Bling Ring tells the (true) story of the circle of teenagers arrested and charged with multiple counts of burglary after becoming infamous for raiding the homes of their neighbouring celebrities in LA. There are many scenes of simple pretty girlie things and the shoe montages alone merit an R rating.
Through flashbacks, vanity fair magazine disclosures and the real TMZ coverage of the events, Coppola builds an ambience of a great emptiness within the circle of friends and a desperate cleptomanic clamouring to fill it. While there's lots of beautiful symbolism, the message the film sends sounds dissonant in the language it's told in.
A killer soundtrack and gorgeous fucking clothes are a sparkling touch upon truly suspenseful drawn-out scenes. Every moment of this movie has its own cinematic tone, but the structure can't support it; the flashbacks place a predetermined hindsight on all the fun scenes and the dialogue cramps the emotional ones.
Sophia Coppola is the woman who brought you the guilty pleasure of Marie Antoinette and I've always seen her as one of the only directors in Hollywood who can tell a girl's story the way any girl would tell it herself, bringing a vibrance to the vapid only a girl can get away with (see Mean Girls for example) This brutal honesty is The Bling Ring's pitch perfect pitfall. It comes off as a parental warning and less like the Robin-Hood-VS-the-1% I was hoping for.
I feel like if this movie had been released as-is in twenty or so years, it would be celebrated for its perfect perception of the generation it commentates on, but perhaps - being part of the generation - I just lack the objectivity to appreciate this cautionary tale.
Future cult classic, you heard it here first!
FINAL VERDICT: WATCH