- 09 Jul 13
Listless films of fame obsession fails to provide critique or insight...
Directed by Sofia Coppola. Starring Katie Change, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Claire Julien. 90 mins
Sofia Coppola is the queen of mood pieces about existential boredom. She contemplated enigmatic teen girls in The Virgin Suicides; materialism in Marie Antoinette; an impossible relationship in Lost in Translation.
The Bling Ring thus seems like perfect fodder for Coppola, based as it is on the true story of over-privileged, fame-obsessed teenagers who burgled celebrities including Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton in 2008 and 2009. Their aim was to emulate the self-promoting, self-indulgent, selfie-posting lifestyles of their idols.
The subject is ripe for sociological investigation, and the young cast, including Emma Watson and newcomers Katie Chang and Israel Broussard, capture the cultivated boredom that’s à la mode among millennials. Their speech is peppered with unearned condescension and the whiny, ascending inflection of kids who have nothing to gripe about.
However, Coppola fails to put the vapid teens’ actions in any moral or critical framework, leaving her point blunted, her film inescapably dull. Plus, in giving publicity to the teen’s escapades, she grants what they’ve always wanted: meritless fame. The film becomes like one of their Instagram shots: a pretty, soft-focus advertisement for a lifestyle they don’t deserve.