It's a unique culture that we live in, where the obsession surrounding fame is an overwhelming one and the idol of celebrity is revered above all else. "The Bling Ring" is based on a true story about a handful of well to do teenagers who took their obsession with being famous just a little too far.
Based on a true story, "The Bling Ring" shows a group of teenagers obsessed with fashion and fame who burglarized the homes of celebrities in Los Angeles. Tracking their targets’ whereabouts online, the teens would break-in and steal designer clothes and possessions. Reflecting on the naiveté of youth, amplified by today’s culture of celebrity and luxury brand obsession, the members of the Bling Ring introduce us to temptations that nearly any teenager would find hard to resist. What starts out as youthful fun spins out of control and reveals a sobering view of our modern culture.
The expression of 'The truth is stranger than fiction' sometimes it just doesn't make a lot of sense either. Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring" works fairly well on some levels, but also is just nonsense on many other levels. The story much like the lives of the kids operates in somewhat of a bubble as they simply do what they want when they want, while this obviously powers home the sociopathic nature of the la la land that these kids live in, it also creates some serious logic gaps that the viewer is required to jump through in order to go along with the film. Everything looks great, but the nature of the story (even though it is true) doesn't translate all that well on to the screen, and Coppola simply bit off a little more from a storytelling standpoint then she could handle as she never embraces a tone in telling this story. The film ultimately drifts too much between farcical and dead serious as the overall tone pendulum's back and forth making for audience who is never quite sure how to take the material. With a story this intentionally vapid, it's tough for the actors navigate as they either are in on the joke, or they just don't get the nature of the film.
This young and mostly inexperienced cast featuring the likes of Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Taissa Farmiga, Claire Julien and Georgia Rock almost play the material too cold and too straight as it plays out like a clueless crime thriller. Of the "Bling Ring" only Emma Watson, who is slowly but surely killing the image of Hermione from the Harry Potter films, manages to grasp the nature of the film playing her burgeoning sexpot Nicki with all the flare and panache that the story demands. She easily has some of the most hilarious lines in the entire film, and with the great Leslie Mann as her mother essentially setting here up every step of the way it makes for a truly standout performances as she establishes herself as an up and coming young Hollywood star.
At the end of the day, much of this film felt over stretched (it was based on a magazine article after all) and "The Bling Ring" never committed to being satire or even a cautionary tale of excess as it was too focused on its shiny trappings to tell a real story, even though Emma Watson manages to elevate this material, standing out when the overall vapid tone just makes you very disinterested.
2 out of 5 stars.