The Bling Ring
A real life story involving today’s pop culture and social media; young kids from Los Angeles used Google Maps and search engines to find the homes of celebrities. Finding the homes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, the high school mob would rob from the rich and show off their designer clothing and accessories in a celebrity-obsessed lifestyle. Karma got the best of them as the flaunting of their riches turned into a nationally-recognized arrest. Paris Hilton ironically came to attend the screening, as she was a supporter of the film despite being a part of the real-life chaos.
Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) has taken a leap in her most risque film of her career as she teams up with Emma Watson, soon-to-be-star Katie Chang, and several others whose names are yet to be engrained into the industry. Wally Pfister (Cinematographer, Dark Knight Rises, the Prestige, Inception) was able to see his daughter, Claire Julien, in her first primary role after being an extra in The Dark Knight Rises.
Getting into this film was a nightmare turned into a dream come true. The queue to get into this film was nearly a mile long, with close to 1,800 people waiting to fill the theater for one of the most-discussed film in Un Certain Regard. We waited nearly three hours before making it to the front of this queue, which was stopped several times to allow the crowds to find a seat. The CMF team was able to make it in while I was shoved into the sides of the rails by eager film fans from all around the world. I’ve never seen a more aggressive group of people over the age of 50 in my life. One last set of 10 people were allowed in to fill the remaining seats; and I squeezed in after watching 20-25 people push their way in front of me. As I rushed into the theater, I caught the presentation of Sofia Coppola and the cast behind the film. After introductions, I was escorted to the middle aisle of the orchestra area of the theater. I received a jumper seat that pulled out in the aisle, but was placed just one row back from Emma Watson, Sofia, and the stars of the film. As the film finished, people stood to recognize the cast and crew. Moments later, Sofia Coppola walked right to my row and hugged her friends and the families of her actors. I stood face to face to all of them, but had my eyes primarily on the beautiful Emma Watson. As she stood right by me waiting for the exit line, I smiled and did what had to be done. “Emma, you did a phenomenal job!” were the words that left my mouth, with a bit of drool falling from the crevice in my lip. She stopped, looked at me with a genuine smile, and thanked me for the compliment. For those brief moments we had together, it was certainly love; foreshadowing perhaps for the rest of my life.
The Bling Ring was the same scenes over and over, lacking an X Factor that put it above the rest of the competition. While it was entertaining to see the portrayal of these celebrity houses and the ridiculousness that they could find address online and keys under front door mats, after 2 break-ins, many audience members became tireless for a new plot. Having said that, being able to watch and hear the stars react to their film was a pretty entertaining experience as this was the first time they had all seen the film together. Throughout the film, Emma Watson’s role was simple and lacked heart. Playing a money-obsessed Cali girl that posts her spoils and stories of drunken nights in clubs isn’t too hard with an iPhone, a line of cocaine and a few “WTF’s” in the script. I don’t think her character had much to her (perhaps was the same in reality) giving her little room to perform and develop the role. I would not suggest that this was remotely close to her previous films,but certainly opens the audience eye to her ability to move on from her role in Harry Potter and work in diverse films. Katie Chang has placed herself on the radar thanks to Coppola and will certainly be a part of more films in the near future.