The Bling Ring

00:00 June 25, 2013
By: David Vicari
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[Courtesy of A24]

Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring is a hard movie to like. It's based on compelling actual events, but the fi lm never digs deep, and its self-absorbed characters rarely gain our sympathy.

In late 2008, a group of upper-middle-class California teens decided to start burglarizing celebrity homes. Among the victims were Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Orlando Bloom.

The movie's ringleader is the ice-cold Rebecca (Katie Chang). She easily pulls the new kid in school, Marc (Israel Broussard), into her plan, as well as her bubble-headed friends (Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga, and Emma Watson).

Pretty much the fi rst hour of this 90-minute movie is repetitive, as we see Rebecca and company check online to see which celebrity is out of town, then break into that person's home, try on stuff, steal clothes and jewelry, then party while high on drugs and booze at a dance club. Rinse and repeat. Only in the last half hour, when they all get busted, does the story really get cooking, but their trials and jail time are rushed through.

Watson is amusing as a materialistic bimbo, but we never truly get into the head of the main character of Marc. Sure, he has low self-esteem, is vaguely gay, and is the closest to a sympathetic character that we have here, yet he is still under-written.

The Bling Ring does make comments on our culture's sick obsession with celebrity, but I just wish it had explored that with a more powerful microscope.

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