At their best, Sofia Coppola's movies, so unassumingly tensile and precise, live in the present instead of just reflecting it. And that's precisely where The Bling Ring fails. Coppola adapted the script from a 2010 Vanity Fair article by Nancy Jo Sales, documenting the crimes of a bunch of fairly well-off kids who couldn’t resist the allure of celebrity stuff: They repeatedly broke into the houses of lip-glosserati like Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, and Paris Hilton, making off with more than $3 million in cash, watches, clothing, jewelry, and shoes. Here, ambitious wannabes Marc (Israel Broussard), Rebecca (Katie Chang), and others played by Emma Watson and Taissa Farmiga Google celebs to find out who's out of town and then break-and-enter one fancy manse after another. Hilton's lair is the ne plus ultra-- the celebutante actually allowed Coppola to film there--boasting a separate room lined floor-to-ceiling with those blobby-looking Christian Louboutin platforms so beloved by women with crap taste and pots of money. The girls aren't the only ones who preen in these My Little Pony hooves; Marc flaunts a pair of hot-pink patent leather numbers, in the process betraying a touch of almost poignant gender confusion. The picture is a departure for Coppola, a half-appalled, half-amused piece of social reportage-- it lacks the illusive pastry layers of mood and tone of Somewhere or Marie Antoinette. Perhaps that's why it's almost impossible to know what Coppola is trying to say, or how she feels about her characters. It's as if she found her way to the material and discovered, too late, that it was an empty, glossy shell.
Sofia CoppolaEmma Watson, Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga, Claire Julien, Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Georgia Rock, Gavin RossdaleSofia CoppolaSofia Coppola, Roman Coppola, Youree HenleyA24 Films