Review: The Bling Ring


The Bling Ring 2013

From late 2008 until late 2009, a group of Hollywood teenagers came up with the bright idea that it would be fun and easy to rob the homes of numerous celebrities. Their victims were chosen using a variety of websites specializing in the Hollywood gossip trade. These sites provide a laser-like focus on the whereabouts of the rich and famous. In high demand and constantly away from home (on vacation, working on films, attending club openings, etc.),  these people proved easy marks for a group of young, unsophisticated home invaders.

With this rough description of Sofia Coppola's tepid new movie, The Bling Ring, you now possess the entirety of what this paint-by-numbers story is all about.

For those of you following at home:

  1. Kids get the idea to rob celebrity homes. 
  2. Kids use gossip websites to determine when Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and others are out of town. 
  3. Kids use Google Map to pinpoint the home addresses of their targets. 
  4. Kids rob the houses of cash, shoes, drugs, jewelry and anything else they can fit into a pilfered Louis Vuitton duffle bag.
  5. Rob, lather, repeat.
  6. Get caught.
  7. Fade to black!

The foundations of many films are based on simple concepts just like this one. That's where the filmmaker's job begins. Take a simple premise, color a bit outside the lines and a simple concept like this becomes interesting. Talented filmmakers explore motivations. What motivates normal upper-middle-class kids to rob homes? Are we so media-obsessed that we need to steal from them to feel attachment? Why the hell don't celebrities have alarm systems and if they do, why don't they use them? The Bling Ring simply tells this story in a straightforward way, asking none of these questions, and providing no answers in return. 

I would go into more detail about the performances, provided they were even slightly interesting. Being generous, the acting was flat, uninteresting and bordering on lukewarm. The only real character of interest is a quasi-spiritual, homeschooling motherly type, played by Leslie Mann. And let's not mention the atrocious Valley Girl accent provided by the skilled actress Emma Watson, okay? Crap, I mentioned it, didn't I. Yeah, it's that bad. 

If you are looking for a bland movie about a bunch of empty people who rob a bunch of other empty people, The Bling Ring is the film for you. If you value your time, you may want to simply read Nancy Jo Sales's 2010 Vanity Fair article "The Suspects Wore Louboutins," the inspiration for this film. The article is more detailed, provides more insight and best of all it's available online and free of charge.

...and what did you really think...


sounds like a Sofia Coppola film

Still haven't seen it, but based off this review it sounds like I'll wait till DVD release. I was hoping this one would be more eventful than her last doozie "Somewhere." Sounds like the blandness isn't a trait but a setback. I wish she could make another good one like "The Virgin Suicides."

Mildly Interesting

It was an entertaining enough story of clueless kids and rich celebrities who deserved to be robbed. Just don't buy the soundtrack album.