THE BLING RING
With Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga, Gavin Rosdale
Written & Directed by Sofia Coppola
After her incredible Lost In Translation, Sofia Coppola's subsequent movies Marie Antoinette and Somewhere didn't have the same effect on me.
In many ways The Bling Ring can be seen as a real life horror story (without blood, monsters and gore). The horror being the alarming extent to which entitled modern youth of the selfish / selfie generation have an inflated sense of their importance, which is basically a criminal streak wrapped in social acceptance and a misguided materialistic drive – all wrapped in a social media driven public pop culture meltdown.
With an unhealthy celebrity obsession, a group of high school kids start a series of burglaries, using social media to target the likes of wealthy media-hyped “personalities” Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, tracking when they're not home, and then also boasting about it on these on-line platforms. The viewer is taken along their 'heist' excursions, partying, selling the stolen goods, notching up their social standing, oblivious to any consequences, denying responsibility even when the law closes in.
This is a continuation of generational alienation movies from Rebel Without A Cause through Less Than Zero and Thirteen.
Beneath the satire of this piece lies so much more alarming reality, from bad parenting and the balance between allowance of freedom and treating kids like adults, leading to madness like this. Notoriety has become a virtue.
The entire mood, the music and everything about these people made me truly feel a generational gap for the first time, thinking that so many of these ego-centric, self-gratifying kids are hopelessly fucked, giving me a bleak view of the future (seeing as these idiots won't be capable of running the world, leaving it wide open for ambitious but warped fundamentalists of all areas to send the world into a very dark place).
Unsettling on many levels (but entertaining in its screwed-up foundation), it is not really a case of old farts who simply don't get the youth of today, or trying to reflect them as true heroes, but very much a neutral reflection of reality and a non-biased warning sign of a society that may be losing its grip more than we'd realized.
Emma Watson has now made the transition from Harry Potter kid to young adult.
(For a stretch I thought Claire Julien was Taylor Momson, of the band The Pretty Reckless and TV show Gossip Girl).
4 / C
- Paul Blom
2 3 4
- A - B - C
See reviews of Sofia Coppola's previous movies: