Friday, June 21, 2013
Why can't people quit while they're ahead? The most important thing I've learned from watching heist type movies is that people who steal, meet their doom by doing one more job, getting greedy, cocky or by not being satisfied with having gotten away with it once or twice! Seeing how Sofia Coppola's newest film, The Bling Ring, is based on actual events, it would seem this compulsion to keep going till you get caught, is just part of a thieving mentality.
The Bling Ring: Rebecca (Katie Chang), Marc (Israel Broussard), Nicki (Emma Watson), Chloe (Claire Julien) and Sam (Taissa Farmiga ) is made up of upper class, suburban, high school kids, who supposedly are so obsessed with celebrity culture, they decide to break into the Hollywood homes of such celebs as Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox, Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Patridge, (who ironically, a couple of years ago, you could picture being part of the Bling Ring). I say supposedly obsessed with celebrity culture, because I don't get the sense from these kids that they revere these stars or their lifestyles, there's very little fan obsession. To me it seemed the only reason they broke into famous people's homes, rather than just rich people's places (which does happen on one occasion), was because it was so easy to find out from Hollywood Gossip sites when these celebs would be away. They got off on breaking and entering, stealing, fencing, using the cash to buy drugs and alcohol. Just your basic thugs; after all, hoods in the Ghetto like pretty things and designer fashions too, so there's no difference. The one girl, Sam, even finds a gun during a looting spree and starts waving it about carelessly threatening her cohorts.
I didn't follow this case when it happened, never read the Vanity Fair article by by Nancy Jo Sales, or watched the reality show Pretty Wild, based on the Nicki character and her sisters being raised by an Adderall and The Secret dispensing mother (played with comedic perfection by Leslie Mann). So not knowing much, I kinda thought I'd like at least one or two of the characters and feel some empathy. No. Coppola deftly makes certain this does not happen. The boy, Marc, with his doughy countenance; wanting desperately to fit in; falling under the spell of the real sociopath of the group Rebecca; finding immense satisfaction in a pair of designer pink pumps, along with playing stylist for the girls with all their ill-gotten gains; makes his character the most sympathetic, but on the whole, writer/director Sofia Coppola's intention was to show the superficiality of the crime and the lack of ethics of the group.
Unfortunately, this choice doesn't make for a very engrossing film. It's just one looting, party session after another, aptly punctuated with cellphone pics and facebook posts.
On a side note, what the hell is wrong with these celebrities leaving keys under the mat, safe's open, sliding doors unlocked? And so much stuff!!! At one point I remember thinking, someone with that much excess deserves to be robbed; but then I realized what I feel is having little, may seem like huge excess to someone else, and I certainly don't want to bring that kinda karma on myself. So I say, if you're lucky enough to be living in decadent abundance - rejoice! And perhaps share a little:)
The soundtrack is fantastic. I heard that you consulted with Kanye West?
SC: I spoke with Kanye early on about consulting with us, and he was very helpful and suggested Frank Ocean to me, but then [Kanye] started touring and didn’t have the time to consult further. He was really helpful in suggesting songs. I had some music in mind that I knew, and then we wanted to find music that had the energy that the kids were really looking for. I’ve never had hip-hop on any of my soundtracks before, so it’s a whole new world. - by Marlow Stern The Daily Beast
Lost in Translation was way before I ever dreamed of Tinsel & Tine, Marie Antoinette keeps trying to make it to the top of my Netflix queue, but here's my post on Coppola's Somewhere.
LAMB Score: 2.5 out of 5
Philly Film Blog