The Bling Ring

Excellent choice of font.
"Living the Dream, One Heist at a Time."

Proving again that dreams can be at LEAST as boring and stupid as real life! Welcome to a new week at The Tagline, as we are rounding out the spookiest month of the year with a movie that was certainly a horrifying experience after a fashion. That is to say, I was horrified that I was watching it, and that a 90 minute run time could feel like and unending prison sentence, which is funny considering the subject matter. Today I'm going to talk about director Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, what is described as a "satirical black comedy crime film" based on true events revolving around a group of teens who burglarized the homes of a number of celebrities including Paris Hilton (They actually robbed her half a dozen times if accounts are to be believed). The movie stars mostly unknown young actors as the members of the eponymous Bling Ring, with the exception of Emma Watson, who trades being brainy Hermione for being maybe the dumbest human being alive, Nicki (Also if you watch American Horror Story Taissa Farmiga, who was the daughter Violet in season 1, is in this movie). The cast is rounded out with cameos of people who were robbed, Leslie Mann who plays Nicki's mother, and Gavin Rossdale (the frontman for Bush) who portrays a scumbag who helps teenage robbers fence Rolex watches. The movie is shot jumping between scenes of the actual crimes and of the burgling teens being interviewed after the fact. Either way.... I wasn't especially impressed.

Boohoo it's sad to get prosecuted for committing crimes!
I'm not sure if comedy means something else in California or not, but I found the classification of this movie as comedy or satire to be a stretch. I understand that Coppola's purported intent with the movie was to lambaste the activities of teens so obsessed with celebrities that they decided to rob them, but I didn't get that especially from the movie. What I did get was to watch a movie that is 3/4 rich teenagers breaking into rich people's houses, doing drugs, hanging out in clubs, and generally doing things that I give absolutely zero shits about. In theory you might think that watching a movie about breaking into the homes of the wealthy would be kind of exciting, but Sofia Coppola uses all of her considerable talents to make robbery as boring and vapid as one could hope to imagine. Instead of a tense intrusion, imagine some bored seeming teenagers walking into a house and just sort of wandering around for a while. Then they leave with some things. This happens numerous times. One time, there is a 5-10 minute scene where we see a house get robbed, only the whole thing is shot at a long distance, so basically you're just kind of looking at a house in silence for a while. Now I am sure that there is someone out there who found this to be artistic. I am here to tell you that I am not that guy. What I did think was that it was one of the grandest wastes of film ever committed. I will grant that I feel that way about basically the entire movie.

I've had this fantasy before.
You see, you can say you're satirizing a subject all you want, and that's why you're showing it for a solid block of 90 minutes, but eventually you're just showing a montage of teenagers snorting coke at flashy night clubs and talking about how chill everything is. Which I mean goes back to the point. I totally believe that coked up rich kids would talk like this, but that doesn't mean I want to listen to it for almost two hours. I have to give credit to the actors I guess, especially Emma Watson, who is such a convincing ditz in this movie that you can hardly even imagine her as anything but brain dead (which I am at least 90% sure she isn't). That being said, I got pretty sick of hearing about how fucking totally chill everything was. Like this is so chill. Ohmigod let's rob Paris Hilton, it'll be totally chill. Fuck you guys. Forever.

This is how me and my friends look. I'm the blonde.
This movie's meandering pacing and listless content is reminiscent of the only film Coppola directed with worse ratings, Marie Antoinette. While there are theoretically the makings of a plot with conflict, and action, none of that ever really makes it to the screen. We see people doing stuff, but it's all just superficial bullshit. I understand, these kids love superficial bullshit and have made it their stock and trade, but at the same time There is clearly more that could be explored than just teenagers hanging out drinking at a nightclub after they steal jewelry from Paris Hilton's house (where they actually filmed by the by. It is the most ridiculous place I have ever seen into. It's hard to feel bad for Paris Hilton, who the hell leaves their doors unlocked and a key under their doormat... like ever.) The movie seems as obsessed with the lifestyles of the rich and the famous as the stupid kids that star in it, and the plot just strolls leisurely from beginning to listless end, when we find out everyone gets charged and goes to jail for barely any time at all. I guess the movie is good in that it shows how fucking stupid people are, and how the beautiful and rich can rob other even more rich people with little consequence. I'd sort of assumed that already though.

This movie might serve as a good baseline test for whether you are unhealthily obsessed with dumb things. If you watch this movie and it doesn't make you bored and annoyed, you should probably try to watch less reality tv and read a book or something. Not a biography of a famous person though.
Is this American Horror Story?

That's it for today! Join me again on Thursday when I will maybe write about another movie who knows, honestly I'm really tired and I might just sleep until next week. We'll see how it goes.

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