The Bling Ring
starring Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Taissa Farmiga, Claire Julien, Georgia Rock , Emma Watson and Leslie Mann
written and directed by Sofia Coppola
I hesitated quite a while to rent The Bling Ring because I was wary of what I was getting. The title is pretty accurately self-explanatory: a gang of thieves heisting jewelry. But in Japan I largely have to judge an unfamiliar movie by the illustration on the box cover, and this one didn’t sway me right away. I finally rented it mostly out of a lack of anything better. But I wasn’t disappointed. It turned out pretty good.
“When we went out we got in everywhere and everyone loved us. We had so many beautiful, gorgeous things.”
Based on the Vanity Fair article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins” (French designer footwear I had never heard of before) by Nancy Jo Sales, The Bling Ring is based on a real incident in California starting in 2008 in which a gang of teenagers burglarized celebrity homes in search of “bling” - expensive jewelry, watches and high end fashion. Cash and drugs, too, when they came across them. What can it be called? True crime drama? Satirical black comedy? Over the course of a year they stole from Orlando Bloom, Audrina Patridge, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, Brian Austin Green, and Megan Fox, and raided Paris Hilton’s house five (!) times. (She helpfully left a key under the mat.)
They wanted what most of the young people who arrive every week in Hollywood want: to live like those bejeweled and fashionably, expensively attired actresses and models splashed in the pages of Us Weekly. This group of friends wanted everything they saw around them growing up in a suburb of Los Angeles.
What I noticed right away was the casual lack of caution the kids showed. You’d think people these days would know better. And fingerprints galore all over the place!! Their obsession with Hollywood celebrity, celebrity lifestyles and their clothes in combination with the early ease of their thefts - they found cars unlocked and doors and windows, too - drew them progressively deeper into it. In addition the dumb teenage twits couldn’t keep their mouths shut and keep a low profile. They had to boast about it to be cool at school.
In the movie the kids are conceited and confident enough to post photos of themselves posing with their loot on their Facebook pages. Okay, that might be dramatic license. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t, I mean if it’s actually true. In real life one of the thieves, Courtney Leigh Ames, had the nerve to wear a necklace stolen from Lyndsay Lohan in court, earning her another charge.