The Circular may have been on hiatus for the past few months but one thing that hasn’t stopped is the release of great movies and one of which is Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring. Been part of a directing dynasty and having directed masterpieces like Lost in Translation, Coppola is no stranger to using stylish shots which this film has plenty.
Based on actual events, The Bling Ring focuses on a series of robberies of Hollywood houses in Like Harmony Korine’s Springbreakers; the culprits are mostly young, bored women looking for excitement in their lives. However rather than using sexuality and gun slinging antics like the Springbreakers, The Bling Ring robbers used the internet to find out if celebs were gone out of their house and plundered the place in the night. They stole various things from the lavish clothes and jewellery to random items likes paintings and pistols. The Bling Ring consisted of shy and at times paranoid Marc played by Israel Broussard, who only had minor roles in straight to DVD movies like The Chaperone, ringleader Rebecca played by Katie Chang who was as cunning as she was friendly, spoilt rich girl Chloe played by Claire Julien and crazy chick Sam played by Taissa Farmiga. The biggest star in it was Emma Watson who played the fifth robber Nikki Moore who is Sam’s stepsister.
The film may have its flaws with minor script issues and irrelevant camera shots. Watson’s portrayal of the bitchy and self-righteous Nikki shows that she is an actress that will not be typecast to the character that made her famous. Highlights of her work are mainly at the end after her trial and sentence yet her chemistry with her on-screen stepsister and new age mother Leslie Mann was impressive too. Having an off-screen sister in Vera Farmiga, Taissa Farmiga was able to portray the odd side of Sam well through her body language. Newcomers Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, and Claire Julien portrayed the characters well with Chang and Broussard providing a great and unique Bonnie and Clyde duo with a penchant for designer clothes, cocaine and the celebrities that they’ve robbed who enjoy drugs and/or expensive attire. As well as the good directing and acting, The Bling Ring offers an impressive soundtrack and even got to play the well-received and popular hip hop song 212 by Brooklyn rapper Azealia Banks. (Warning: the song does contains bad language).
While the Bling Ring is targeted at the female demographic, its wit, impressive film devices and important theme of how modern society glamorises crime offers something for the men to enjoy too. It also highlights Sofia Coppola’s ability to take a genre and direct it with a certain twist Keep an eye out for cameos from a former actress who worked with Coppola and one of the actual victims of the Bling Ring robberies. For a crime caper involving fashion, partying and a great soundtrack, the Bling Ring. However, audience members may get paranoia the next time they see someone walking down the streets with a pair of shades and an iced coffee in hand.