The Bling Ring (2013)

The Bling Ring (2013)

If you’ve seen the trailer for Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, you already know the plot: Rich kids steal from richer celebrities, get caught. This kind of plot-certainty isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it frees up the filmmaker to focus on tone and character rather than story. The Bling Ring portrays its protagonists’ crime sprees in vivid colour to an lively soundtrack (Sleigh Bells, M.I.A., Kanye West – all good stuff). It’s almost like a catalogue of the brands’ products they’re ripping off; Louis Vuitton here, Gucci there. Like the superior Spring Breakers, it’s not interested in romanticising its subject, using repetition and a detached perspective to take something almost pornographic (in this case, Prada-porn) and render it underwhelming and insipid.

The film’s muted tone – at odds with its bright colours and music – is clearly deliberate. This doesn’t, however, make it compelling. The by-the-numbers storyline is dramatically inert, true story or no, and the bold cinematography isn’t enough to distract from the film’s wearisome repetition and vapid characters. Coppola may understand these youths, but the film refuses to emphathise with them, and it left me disengaged. Like an overpriced piece of jewellery, I found The Bling Ring shiny but insubstantial.

Rating: 108/200

13 thoughts on “The Bling Ring (2013)

    • It’s possible you’ll really like it – I’ve seen people whose opinions I respect (eg. Alex Withrow over at And So It Begins) who loved it; it’s not that it’s a bad film, it’s just that nothing that it was trying to do really appealed to me. Your mileage may vary!

    • If nothing else, it’s a very pretty film! I think I might just not be on the same wavelength as Sofia Coppola when it comes to cinema…

  1. Nice review – I got a lot more out of this I think, as this was one of my favourites of the year. In a paradoxical way, I found that the disinterested tone made me more interested in it and highlighted the satirical elements. It’s a movie about nothing really. I preferred it to Spring Breakers (though I loved that movie too) – the two would make a good double-feature.

    • Yeah, I can appreciate where you’re coming from re: the disinterested tone and I have no doubt that’s what Coppola was going for. Just didn’t hit the spot for me!

  2. Pingback: Alpha Dog (2003) | ccpopculture

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