The Bling Ring: "Police Are Investigating The Connection Of The Hollywood Hills Burglaries"

Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer:    Sofia Coppola
Starring: Israel Broussard
               Katie Chang
               Emma Watson
               Taissa Farmiga
               Claire Julien
               Leslie Mann
               Kirsten Dunst
               Paris Hilton
Rating:   ***

Release Date: 05/07/2013

2008 saw a group of self centred, vacuous and ignorant teenagers trespass and disturb the lives of many celebrities living in Hollywood. Famously known as The Bling Ring, the group of youths robbed and invaded the homes of Megan Fox, Orlando Bloom and Paris Hilton, to name a few; and they managed to do so multiple times before being caught. As their greed and misjudgement took over their minds they found they couldn't stop themselves, that was until early 2010, when they were caught, arrested and each spent their time in jail. One of the criminals even spent time in jail with one of their famous victims, Lindsay Lohan.

Katie Chang & Israel Broussard
The year is 2013, and Sofia Coppola's big screen adaptation of this groups crimes has been released. It is a hard film to come to grips with; I feel like I shouldn't enjoy it because what it is based on is so unjust and happened so recently. However, to a certain extent I did quite like the film, and with a sexy soundtrack and the glamorous life being splashed on the screen before me, you do get a tiny understanding of the life that the 5 teens craved so much. I would have liked it if we had gotten the chance to hear things from the victims points of view, but as Bloom said in an interview, it was too close to home for him to feature in the film himself.

The cast are good, and you do believe them as this group of fame-hungry wannabes; wannabes that get a cheap thrill from breaking into and taking away these celebrities privacy. However their performances didn't wow me and failed to fully engage me, that is apart from Emma Watson. Long gone are the days of Hermione Granger. Her roles in My Week With Marilyn and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are quite reserved, and of course we all know Hermione as a strong-willed brain box. All things that are so far removed from her character Nicki in the Bling Ring that she really did blow me away. 

Taissa Farmiga & Emma Watson
Nicki is your typical aspiring actress from the Valley with barely a brain cell or selfless thought in her head. Watson makes the role funny, but still manages to dumbfound you with a carefree attitude to her actions, at one point coldly saying 'I want to rob', completely dead pan, without a flutter of remorse. It is this, along with a Valley Girl accent and dramatic style change that you forget you are watching Emma Watson and just give in to the character of Nicki. Nicki especially shines when bickering with her equally as fame-hungry mother, played by the marvellous Leslie Mann. She is a true stage mom and Nicki is just fighting for some independence.

The film is glamorous to look at, it is full of stylish, excitement and fun; all things that a film like this should avoid I guess. However under it all there is one big issue, and for me it was my inability to engage and care for the characters. They are so selfish, vapid and grotesquely vain that I want them to get arrested, I didn't care when Nicki cried, I wasn't bothered that Marc (Broussard) trie to show remorse; I just wasn't fussed. Some may say this is a good thing as they are based on factual people and don't deserve sympathy, however it is a movie and normally there is one person you can route for; here there was not. It meant I often became disconnected from the action taking place and found myself losing interest in some of the more wordy scenes. It is fun to watch, but for me it is a one tie viewing kind of film.

The Bling Ring - Trailer


  1. Nice review James. Any press for these damn kids is bad press, but at least Coppola kept it somewhat interesting to watch. Nothing much needed to be said for these kids though, and I feel like that's where this movie really hits a dead-end.


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