Sofia Coppola directs a movie about every three years, and each one prior to 2010’s Somewhere, which I didn’t see, was beautifully designed and disconnected in that way that we all are when we step into a crowd.
Sadly, the style Coppola applied in the Oscar-winning Lost in Translation simply doesn’t work in a film about morally corrupt, glamour-obsessed teens.
For months we’ve read about Emma Watson’s imitation of Alexis Neiers, who, with Nick Prugo, Rachel Lee and a few others, was convicted of burglarizing the homes of celebrities like Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom and Lindsay Lohan.
Coppola’s fifth feature film opens with fragmented conversations with Marc (Israel Broussard as Prugo), a nervous young man who doesn’t quite fit in, and continues on to his life at an alternative school in Calabasas where he almost immediately befriends Rebecca (Katie Chang as Lee, the bling ringleader).
Unfortunately, the Vanity Fair article that sparked Coppola’s interest, The Suspects Wore Louboutins by Nancy Jo Sales, is much more informative and interesting than The Bling Ring, as is the recent L.A. Times follow-up piece on Neiers by Amy Kaufman and the E!
reality show Pretty Wild, which provided a look
at the real-life versions of Nicki, her two sisters and mother at home and during the trial.
The movie has less substance than the people the characters are based on, trading in scenes of dialogue and back story for awkwardly repetitive ones of Watson and her co-stars using Google Maps, mat keys and unlocked sliding screens to go “shopping.”
Lee, Prugo and Neiers’ excessive need for designer shoes, sunglasses, and bags is comparable to Coppola’s need for trendy dance music and single wide shots of houses and gates, and while seeing the suspects pose for Facebook photos surrounded by money and stolen goods was relevant and funny, I could not recommend this to anyone who isn’t already in jail. (You have better things to do.)
This silent home invasion flick is so unbearable, when the villains finally get caught and enter the courtroom you forget to care that the credits just rolled and you never got to learn their fates.
It’s also strange that Coppola’s interpretation implicated Neiers’ biological and adopted sister when they were never charged or thought to be criminally involved with The Hollywood Hills Burglars, and even stranger that Taissa Farmiga looks and acts nothing like the Tess Taylor we loved to hate on Pretty Wild.
An entire member of the Bling Ring crew (Diana Tamayo) was traded in for Taylor and the people hired to work on a film about superficial bitches couldn’t even get her hair right?? Blasphemy.
- 41 Little-Known Facts About ‘The Bling Ring’ (thoughtcatalog.com)
- The Narcissistic Postfeminist Millennial Supergirls of ‘The Bling Ring’ and ‘Spring Breakers’ (flavorwire.com)
- How Sofia Coppola Whitewashed The Bling Ring (jezebel.com)
- A Real-Life Bling Ring Crash Course: The Best (Worst) of Alexis Neiers (jezebel.com)