The much-publicised story of a bunch of misguided teens that went around robbing celebrity mansions soon became the footnote of hero worship gone wrong and gave director Sophia Coppola a good reason to revisit her cinematic roots.
These well-to-do Californian brats went one further than romanticising about the A-lister life via glossy magazines, and decided to go on the rob direct to the source nabbing themselves millions of dollars worth of booty. How hard can it be to break into Paris Hilton’s home? Not at all apparently. She left her key under the mat. Yes really.
Lost in Translation director Sophia Coppola saw a sad subtext in the series of these real events that saw the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, Megan Fox, Orlando Bloom and Audrina Partridge as targets to the teens’ sticky fingers. Inspired, Coppola has made a brilliantly stark movie based on these brazen burglaries, which took place throughout 2008 and 2009, and brought Emma Watson along for the ride.
Once again, Watson proves she doesn’t need a wand to work her magic on the big screen. Her cutesy ways are frozen out as she dominates her rich bitch character with style and authenticity heading-up the gang of wrongens. Along with Kirstin Dunst and Lindsay Lohan’s cameo appearances, Paris Hilton pops up proving she’s no longer bitter about having her jewels robbed and is now happy to use the theft to her advantage. Obvs.
Coppola, who also wrote the screenplay, seems to be subtly wagging a finger at the superficial celebrity culture depicted in today’s modern media. She clearly joined in with a communal sigh when the tabloids covered Lindsay Lohan’s yo-yo visits to jail like a fashion feature which saw her arrests propel her celebrity rather than condemn her disobedience.
With this knowledge, it’s no wonder jail was an after-thought for the teens, who were soon branded ‘The Burglar Bunch’, when rummaging around Paris Hilton’s draws. If they get arrested – they can just sell their story, then gain kudos after ‘finding’ themselves in humanitarian work for some country called Africa. If they don’t, at least they’ll cop a pair of Prada shoes once worn by a woman who’s famous for being famous. Win-win.
The Bling Ring received a warm welcome in Cannes Film Festival and has seen the much-loved Sophia Coppola make a graceful return to movie-making since Somewhere in 2010. Despite its undercurrent of social commentary it’s an easy and fun watch and reveals the underside of a fascinating true story.
The Bling Ring comes to cinemas July 5th 2013