Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring is vacuous but suitably entertaining, much like the subject of the film.
New at school, Marc quickly falls in with a group of friends who are obsessed with celebrities. Their desire to immerse themselves in the lives of celebrities grows, from frequenting the same establishments to stealing from their homes…
Based on the real case of teenagers stealing from celebrities’ homes in Hollywood (albeit with names changed), The Bling Ring is a case of style over substance. There is little to the narrative in terms of momentum.
The Bling Ring is not a dull film, but there is little to it beyond the premise. The set up itself is an interesting, particularly as it is based on a high-profile news story. However, there is little for viewers to real get their teeth into.
The Bling Ring follows trait of earlier Sofia Coppola films with its preoccupation with fame and celebrity. Given the narrative, this is more overt than in some of Coppola’s previous films. The Bling Ring offers a negative depiction of society’s interest in celebrities. Any other judgements are less explicit, although some of the parents do not cme out of it well.
Another theme that materialises is loneliness. Key to Coppola’s Somewhere, it also manifests itself in The Bling Ring. There is certainly a sense of protagonist Marc wanting to fit in. Moreover, there is a certain patheticness to the characters and their obsessions.
The film boasts good casting and performances. Israel Broussard, Katie Chang and Emma Watson are convincing as the teens obsessed with the celebrity lifestyle. Leslie Mann is also decent in a slightly comic role.
Coppola’s film does entertain, but is disappointing in its failure to offer something that is genuinely gripping. The themes it presents are certainly worthy of attention; it is just a shame that The Bling Ring does not leave an indelible mark.