The Bling Ring  A Podwits Review

Posted: July 12, 2013 by Podwits Administrator in Film, Film Review, News
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The Bling Ring is an Ode to the Affluent and the Unmindful.

Rating: * * * * out of 5 stars

Review by Luke Whitmire

 

The Bling Ring PosterInspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed, noxious teenagers pillage the homes of high-profile celebrities in Southern California.

Oscar Winning filmmaker Sophia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Maria Antoinette, The Virgin Suicides) crafts a fast-paced, entertaining cinematic journey about vapid youth obsessed with money and fame. She revels in the fact that our generation is so preoccupied with material things and notoriety, that it will eventually lead to the qualities of a dunderhead.

The advent of reality TV and social media has been a dominate and transfixing force, inspiring and teaching our younglings to be like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. These two famous women were able  to turn themselves into brand names, despite a conventional beginning in the industry. Basically, they are famous for being famous. It is baffling how the youthful idolize and emulate these public figures.

Emma Watson in The Bling Ring

Emma Watson in The Bling Ring

While Paris Hilton is out of town, the vacuous teens of  The Bling Ring decide to infiltrate her house and steal expensive jewelry, clothes and large amounts of hidden Benjamins. These teens want more than just cash, though, they want to mirror their favorite celebrity by being in their home and wearing their clothes for an evening. Rapid fixation also takes them to night clubs where their favorite idol parties. People will go to extremes to be famous.

Coppola makes all the characters shallow and one-dimensional, she intends for us not to feel sympathy for these selfish, apathetic brats. Most of the parents show no interest in teaching their teen to be responsible contributions to society. All they care about is having enough money and fame to give them security and a purpose. Only one Mother (Leslie Man) takes an active role in parenting her two daughters (Emma Watson and Taissa Farmiga) by home schooling and teaching them about celebrity fashion. I found these scenes to be the most amusing and funny.

Shot documentary style, Coppola doesn’t pass judgment on the obtuse teens. Matter of fact, she accentuates just the facts, allowing us to watch a portrait of amoral kids succeeding in the realm of criminality. Coppola creates a stylish and relevant social commentary without the lofty moralizing. She lets the facts convey the message. Some viewers might get upset that she doesn’t place her characters in some kind of moral or critical framework, but she doesn’t need to; she uses a more unconventional narrative structure by letting us see 90min of purblind kids rob themselves to fame, and feeling no remorse or The Bling Ring Crewconviction for their actions. Now that is an inane, insensible existence.

Cinematically, this is Coppola’s most vertiginous film, setting aside her more languorous rhythm and pacing that made her a powerhouse visionary among a male dominate industry. Her visual style really encapsulates pop culture and obsession, even if it does get repetitive at times.

Bottom line:

A dark, funny, entertaining commentary on the ubiquity of celebrity culture, and how it effects the minds of the adolescent.

Rating note: R for language, sensuality and crime.

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