The Bling Ring Movie Review

Have you ever found ‘nothing’ to watch on TV but continued to stare at the tube while zoning out and not caring what was on the screen in front of you? This happened to me at the theater when I saw Sofia Coppola’s latest motion picture THE BLING RING. It was as entertaining as ‘nothing’ on television.

In THE BLING RING, Ms. Coppola takes us through the real life events surrounding a group of California teens whose celebrity obsession turns into a stealing spree.  In Coppola’s attempt to tell this tale, she fails to conjure any of the story making magic audiences enjoyed in THE VIRGIN SUICIDES or LOST IN TRANSLATION. Slipping back into the same story telling platform we saw in MARIE ANTOINETTE with pointless long shots and piles of excess (shoes, handbags, clothing and jewelry) and a lot of flat characters, THE BLING RING is less than sparkly.

Emma Watson in The Bling Ring

As the story unfolds, we meet the perpetrators Rebecca (Katie Chang), Marc (Israel Broussard), Nicki (Emma Watson), Sam (Taissa Farmiga) and Chloe (Claire Julien). Out of this mix, Emma Watson’s Nicki was one of the better acted characters. Even though she was a vapid, spoiled, party girl, she still managed to create a character that audiences would remember. Every stuck up, cringe worthy sentence was uttered with perfection and the wide-eyed innocence she displayed even knowing she was busted, was quite priceless. The other characters in the ‘ring’ were less than memorable. Broussard was the most boring lead and there was only a single scene where his acting shined throughout the entire picture.

Emma Watson in The Bling Ring

In a film about breaking and entering, there was only one moment of pure, nail-biting tension. When the teens find a gun that Sam uses to taunt Marc, I couldn’t stop cringing and squirming in my seat  “knowing” that something horrible was about to occur. Then the moment was done without harm or foul and the film went on with more boring long shots and montages of accessories.

Emma Watson in The Bling Ring

There were a lot of celebrity cameos, as well as actual press footage highlighting the celebs that were targets of the break-in spree; all of which felt appropriate. But it was weird usage of Gavin Rossdale as club owner, Ricky.  He put in a fine performance, but it was distracting at first because I thought,’ wow, these teens are chums with Bush front man, Rossdale!’ Wrong.  For her part as the mother of Sam and Nicki, Leslie Mann is perfection. The give and take between Mann and Watson is superb and with limited screen time, you still were able to get to know her character.

Emma Watson in The Bling Ring

 I was truly hoping that this film would be great. Unfortunately, THE BLING RING was as disappointing as the previous two films from Coppola (SOMEWHERE and the aforementioned MARIE ANTOINETTE). There was nothing new or creative in the storytelling process. The party sequences were not even entertaining or fun for the audience; it was more like being the stone cold sober person surrounded by a fog of debauchery.

OVERALL 1.5
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