Saturday, June 22, 2013

Movie Review: Bling Ring

Celebs living up the high life is nothing new.  In this Sofia Coppala movie, the story of a group of young adults who follow celebrities and break into their homes taking any number of valuables is put to the side by a feeling of staleness and overbearing characters.  I’ve never seen a Sofia Coppala movie and thought this would be an interesting entry into what I expected to be an artsy piece of work.  I’m familiar with off-the-beaten track movies, but this one felt inauthentic from the very beginning.  The cast is made of mostly unknown young actors, save for Harry Potter’s Emma Watson and American Horror Story’s Taissa Farmiga.

The movie is based off of an article published in Vanity Fair, chronicling how a new kid to a school is convinced by one girl, who he isn’t interested in romantically, to break into celebrity houses and take whatever they like.  The concept of stealing from the rich and keeping for the poor seems to be the underlying concept the kids use, but it becomes clear by the placid, shallow performances that the audience is supposed to believe the kids are remorseless, soulless fiends, as I would expect a celebrity like Sofia Coppala to interpret such an event.  It is an inexcusable act, but to believe that the kids committing the crimes were oblivious to right and wrong is a level of humanity that was so played up, it made the entire movie feel fake.  Worse yet, the main character was the untested Israel Broussard who played the doe-eyed, possibly gay, Marc.  Marc is sucked in by the ring leader of the so-called Bling Ring, Rebecca played by Katie Chang.  Neither were all that believable and early on it wasn’t clear why Marc would be so enthralled with Rebecca.  It made sense that the girls wanted nice things and wouldn’t get them through any normal means.  The character of Marc, the central focus of the movie, was directionless and only slightly interesting.

The movie is worth seeing just to see the beautiful bags, clothes and things that get stolen, but the acting is less than sensational and at times seemed forced.  The characters were caricatures from beginning to end, and it was hard to ignore this.  For $7, this is worth seeing, but you aren’t missing much by passing on it.

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