Review: The Bling Ring

Written by: Dee Pilgrim

If there’s one thing worse than B-list celebrities with too much money and no taste it’s spoilt, privileged wannabe celebrity brats who idolise the B-listers and aspire to be them.

Emma Watson sexy in The Bling Ring

Emma Watson in The Bling Ring

The Bling Ring is all about the latter group; a bunch of vacuous teenagers who have to buy the same clothes, shoes and designer accessories as their idols – or they could go one further and sneak into the celebrities’ houses and steal the actual clothes, shoes and designer accessories they so covet.

That’s exactly what ‘the Bling Ring’ does in this movie. Not once, not twice, but over and over again until you find yourself thinking ‘surely the police must be onto them by now’, not least because the kids are such airheads they take pictures of their ill-gotten booty and post them on Facebook.

While Nicki (Emma Watson) Rebecca (Katie Chang)  and Chloe (Claire Julien) are the main protagonists in the group and basically doing it for the thrill – OMG! don’t cha know – the only boy on the team, Marc (Israel Broussard) is an outsider who wants desperately to fit in and is fixated on Rebecca. He’s probably the most interesting character here but the big problem director Sofia Coppola has with her source material (based on a true story) is that she just can’t get away from the fact the kids are brats. Well-heeled, attractive brats but brats nonetheless. You end up feeling nothing for them except maybe frustration that with all their privileges they end up being nothing more than petty thieves.

While the film could have had interesting things to say about celebrity, consumerism and fame, instead it focuses on the bling and so ends up being all Louboutins and no G-string. This lack of depth, although probably inevitable given the shallow nature of the story, gives the film the air of a made-for-TV movie. The actors do what they can with their characters but when all you are required to do is pout, flick your hair and say ‘OMG! Like, totally!’ you become as easily forgettable as any washed-up B-lister who has had their 15 minutes of fame and is now, like, so yesterday.

Author: Dee Pilgrim

Dee always knew she wanted to make her living from writing and so trained as a journalist before working for a variety of music and women’s titles including Sounds, Company, Cosmopolitan, Ms London, New Woman, and Girl About Town. After going freelance she concentrated on celebrity interviews and film, theatre, music and restaurant reviews. Her love of film goes back to her very first cinema experience at the age of five when her mother took her to see Bambi. She cried. At one time she was the Film Editor for NOW magazine and also the secretary for the film section of the Critics’ Circle and the celebrity coordinator for its annual film awards’ event. She has written a number of books for teenagers through Trotman Publishing, including five Real Life Guides to vocational careers (including Carpentry, Plumbing and Catering), and also three books on Real Life Issues (Money, Bereavement and Self Harm). Her favourite film is still Bladerunner.

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