31/07/13 - Film review: The Bling Ring

If you follow me on Twitter, you will know just how long I was dying to see Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring.  After seeing the initial trailer and doing some research into the 'true crime' aspects of the story, I was hooked.  So many of the people I follow online - video bloggers and bloggers alike - helped to build up the hype around the film, so when I found that there was a significantly lacking number of showings local to me, I started to become desperate.  I ended up going to the final screening at my nearest cinema (the only one in, it seems, the entire North West of England to show the film) with my dad...he took pity on me so I wouldn't have to go alone.

For those who don't know, the film is based on the real events of the 'Hollywood Hills Burglaries' which took place in 2008 and 2009.  The alleged perpetrators - a group of teenagers - 'burglarized' (what a silly American word) the homes of celebrities including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom, coming away with millions of dollars worth of swag and taking celebrity worship to new levels.  Seeing their idols on screen and in magazines wasn't enough; they felt entitled to owning a little piece of the Hollywood lifestyle - "the lifestyle that everybody kind of wants" as Marc suggests, words taken straight from real-life Bling Ringer Nick Prugo.

The influence of social media in the film is overwhelming.  The Internet is the only port of call necessary for getting the low-down on the victims, their social engagements and addresses.  The whole debacle is documented through 'selfies' and grainy webcam videos which show the teens living out their fantasies of extravagance, fanning themselves with wads of hundred dollar bills whilst drinking bottles of Grey Goose vodka and lounging on Paris Hilton's couch.  An extended montage shows drug abuse, partying, shopping and 'shopping' through celebrity closets.  Their peers are envious rather than judgmental as they flaunt the wares of their crimes, and the burglars become more brazen as they continue to get away with it.  As technology becomes more advanced and society more concerned with excess, it can be argued that this film shows an example of how everyone's lives are becoming over-displayed and too accessible, not just those of the rich and famous.  

The cast, in my opinion, were brilliant.  Israel Broussard and Katie Chang as the originators of the scheme (in real life, Rachel Lee and Nick Prugo; here, Rebecca and Marc) compliment each other well, with her calm and collected attitude even under pressure and his eagerness to please her.  Emma Watson as Nicki, the doppelganger of the now-infamous Alexis Neiers, was incredible.  Having missed The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this was my first experience of Emma post-Hermione and she played a blinder.  Her research into the role paid off as she nailed the whining Valley-girl accent and the expression of bored indifference.  Some of the funniest dialogue were lines taken verbatim from interviews with Alexis, and Emma delivered them with perfect comic timing.

Personally, I really enjoyed the film and will most certainly be buying the DVD when it's released.  While I realise that Coppola's style isn't for everyone, I found it the perfect vehicle for this story; the scenes of excess and the idea of celebrity-worship at times seemed reminiscent of her 2006 film Marie Antoinette.  Although I don't entirely agree with the way in which this film places the blame for the crimes, it was an enjoyable and visually impressive hour and a half.

Have you seen The Bling Ring? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments.


  1. I love Sofia Coppola's films this is one i have to see! Great review x


    1. I would seriously recommend it, especially if you're a fan of her work :)


  2. I tried to watch it online but couldn't find a strong link, so I guess I'll have to wait for the DVD. Thanks for sharing!


    1. I'm hoping the DVD will come out soon, because I really want to see it again. It's such a shame that it's really hard to find online! xx