Award-winning, insightful director, Sofia Coppola, has once again made a film that is highly successful in portraying fame and celebrity ... only this time she has turned the cameras onto those who obsess over and covet the fame and celebrity others have. Her latest film, The Bling Ring, gives us a vibrant portrait of a society - that culture is so lost it's hard to decide who you hate more; wannabes or celebrities.
The Bling Ring is a character study/meditation of a group of people -- based on real life individuals in SoCal -- with NO character whatsoever. They are all beautiful bling on the outside with no inner core of morality. They are shells of a mass emptiness who worship others for merely having stuff they want ... or being on their TVs.
As Coppola herself said it's as if "your experiences don't count unless you have an audience watching them" and you can really feel that in this film. None of the characters really have any "moments" despite their attempts at proving it.
Coppola's story is based on real-life events of a group of five vacuous and insipid teenagers (one boy and four girls) who used the internet to track the whereabouts of their "celebrity" idols -- some were merely "reality stars" -- so that when the stars were out of town the five could play. The five would break into celeb houses and play with beautiful things that belonged to Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, Audrina Patridge or ... their ultimate idol, Lindsay Lohan.
They had fun and bragged about their shenanigans at parties and on social media all the while believing that they had done nothing wrong. One even believes this happened in order for her to become more charitable -- her comment on "karma" must be heard to be believed. Coppola wisely lifted this line word-for-word as it is tragic comic gold. The script is expertly put together, everything is there for a reason - you've just got to work out why.
Coppola's storytelling is absolutely fantastic, she shows her clear disgust of these girls through her cinematography. Coppola totally gets this generation and what's wrong with it and it's shown to perfection in this film. She understands the world of fame and she has proved she also understand the world of those who dream of it. This isn't a movie in which characters learn life lessons and change ... this is a depiction of people who believe they do no wrong (like never ever). It is eye-opening because these people walk among us.
The films leaves you with a feeling of emptiness and while some may critic that, I actually believe it's quite clever, I think that's the point Coppola is making - you've just met the Bling Ring. They epitomise emptiness and nothingness.