The Bling Ring
Breezy, deadpan satire on obsession with celebrity culture feels a little inconsequential
They were the little devils who stole Prada and fame-hungry LA brats more than ready for their close-ups by the time Vanity Fair profiled them in an article entitled ‘The Suspects Wore Louboutins’. Now, the true story of teenagers behaving badly provides the basis of a breezy, deadpan satire on our 21st century obsession with celebrity culture.
Sofia Coppola’s fascination with the destructive allure of fame and the way it isolates and wounds has dominated her films from Marie Antoinette to the soporific Somewhere. The Bling Ring is a much lighter, slighter variation on that theme as it follows Rebecca (Katie Chang), Nicki (Emma Watson), Marc (Israel Broussard) and friends as they retrace how dreaming about fame led them to finding short cuts to claim it for themselves. In their case, that meant tracking the movements of the rich and famous online before breaking into their home with what seems like ridiculous ease. They stole in excess of $3m in cash, clothes and designer goods from the plush abodes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom among others. In some instances, the stars had such an abundance of luxury that they failed to notice anything had been taken.
The Bling Ring adopts a wry, amused tone as it gently dissects the ever decreasing circles of fame and a world where Paris Hilton is perfectly prepared to play herself in a film about being robbed by teenagers hungry for a taste of her notoriety. The young cast clearly has a ball, with Emma Watson on especially spiky form as the naive, wide-eyed Nicki. It is an enjoyable, amusing and well-executed film even if it does feel awfully insubstantial and inconsequential.
Screening at Filmhouse, Sat 22 Jun and Cineworld Fountain Park, Sun 23 Jun, as Part of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013. Limited release from Fri 5 Jul.