The Bling Ring

The Bling Ring ★★

I think I should just be frank and say that I dislike this film and have disliked it for a long time. I’m a fan of Sofia Coppola's other work, but I think this is definitely her worst movie, as well as Emma Watson’s worst movie. This is not exactly a thoughtful critique, but hearing Watson says “I want to rob” in that half baked imitation of a valley girl voice really sets my teeth on edge. The early 2000s fashion assaults my eyes in every way possible. When Paris Hilton wears gaudy low rise pants it’s in character, but on Emma Watson, it just looks tactless and distracting.

In this film, the criminal motivation is attention and attention alone. The Bling Ring technically wanted jewels and diamonds and designer shoes, but those are all just avenues for more attention. There can be nuance and interest in narcissism, but the narcissism of the Bling Ring is the shallow narcissism of women who only exist in fiction.

I think this movie is trying to explore the emotional hunger and materialism it portrays, but for me at least it doesn’t succeed. If you want me to see the hollowness within beauty, show me actual beauty, not undeveloped vapid teens in knock-off Gucci. It’s fascinating that this is based on a true story, but that’s because it’s fascinating that people are dumb enough to document their own crimes, and not because it’s a story worth retelling.