Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring is based on the real events involving a group of SoCal teenagers who robs celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan in 2008. They wear what they steal and document their crimes with selfies and uploading videos of their capers on YouTube.
The Bling Ring benefits from Coppola’s sensualist nature. Before they are caught by the cops, the group has stolen more than $3 million worth of drugs, money and high-end fashion. The break-ins look good thanks to the cinematography of Harris Savides. He died during the making of the movie and Christopher Blauvelt was tasked to complete the job, which he did well.
The celebrities are victims of the story even if they took some time to notice some of their stuff are missing. The screenplay is based on a 2010 article from Vanity Fair by Nancy Jo Sales but Coppola’s script is more attuned to the internal dynamics of the teens.
Emma Watson plays Nicki, an underage club girl. She wants to be an actress and embodies the narcissistic nature of a Valley Girl. The character is based on Alexis Neiers, who manages to get her own reality show after committing the crimes.
Other members of The Bling Ring are Nicki’s best friend Sam (Taissa Farmiga) and their mobile phone addicted friend Chloe (Claire Julien). Nicki’s mother (Leslie Mann) homeschools the girls and makes sure they take their Adderall.
Nicki is not the leader of the pack. That position goes to Rebecca (Katie Chang). She is a daughter of Korean immigrants who wants to achieve her dreams. She is aided by Mark (Israel Broussard), a computer geek who can find out when the celebrity is out of town.
The Bling Ring is about amoral teenagers looking for some type of intimacy. Coppola doesn’t blame the parents for the wrongdoings of the teens. The members of the group don’t envy the stars’ talent but rather their designer labels and fame.