Critic’s Pick: ‘The Bling Ring’
Must-See Movies Beyond the Blockbusters
Emma Watson in 'The Bling Ring' (Photo: A24)
Love her or hate her, Sofia Coppola has cornered the market on the world of privilege and its discontents. And so it goes with the writer-director's latest movie, "The Bling Ring," based on a Vanity Fair true-crime-in-the-Hollywood-Hills article. The film, in limited release this weekend focuses on a celebrity-obsessed Bonnie and Bonnie and Bonnie and Bonnie and Clyde gang that robs from the rich – Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom – and lines their own Prada pockets.
Led by relative newcomers Katie Chung and lush-lipped Israel Broussard, the high school heist comedy benefits from low expectations. Think a dark teen comedy in the tradition of "Mean Girls" and "Heathers." Both Broussard and Chung are delightfully decent as ringleaders Marc and Rebecca, but the film’s focus frequently shifts to supporting player Emma Watson. In micro-minis, her head bobbling on her slender neck, Watson plays La-La lost girl Nicki, a child of divorce incompletely healed by the New Age platitudes of her mother (Leslie Mann).
Katie Chang and Israel Broussard in 'The Bling Ring' (Photo: A24)
For Coppola fans this accessible movie lives between the pole-dancing pretentions of “Somewhere” and the high-glass losers's love affair of "Lost in Translation." Neither her worst, nor her best. And, yet, to its credit, this movie foregrounds the young women who read Us Weekly and the fashion glossies religiously. To criticize the fact that the script doesn’t go deep enough is to get the point: that with all that swag out there for repeat-offenders like Hilton or Lohan, why shouldn’t a girl with gumption simply walk right up to an empty house and liberate its contents for the sheer joy of material possession and to see her reflection in the mirror of a selfie on Facebook?
Bottom Line: Emma Watson has legs in a shiny bit of bling.