“The Bling Ring” – Review by Jake Peffer

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The Bling Ring is the latest of many films to be “inspired by true events.” Despite which aspects of the film are true the film revolves around Rebecca (Katie Chang), a teenager in high school who has an obsession with celebrities and their lifestyles. A new boy at her school, Marc (Israel Broussard), starts to hang out with her and quickly learns that she not only has a celebrity obsession but also an obsession with stealing. Once they become closer they start using the internet to find out when celebrities are out of town so they can sneak into their houses and steal from them. After a while they bring in a few friends (Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga and Claire Julien) as they begin turning their obsession into a new lifestyle.

While there are certain aspects of The Bling Ring to enjoy it felt like there could have been more depth to it. This seems to mostly be because of the direction, which is handled here by Sofia Coppola. The direction just feels flat and at times the film never really seems to know where it wants to go. Another thing I found to be lackluster were the characters. Now I realize that these characters are based on shallow, insecure teenagers but that still didn’t stop me from disliking them all. Its just hard to get behind any of the characters when you dislike them so much, the only character who is slightly redeemable is Marc but he really ends up being as bad as the other characters.

As for the performances, they don’t really get any better than the characters themselves. Nobody in the cast is particularly bad or anything but none of them really give an above average performance. Emma Watson is clearly the best actress in the cast but even she can’t carry the film on her own. There are a few things here that do make the film worth a watch. It does have some funny moments here and there and the story is interesting enough to keep you watching. The camera work is also used quite well featuring some nice shots every so often.

Verdict: Considering the subject matter, The Bling Ring could have been much better. Sadly, the combination of stale direction, pacing problems and uninteresting characters result in a lackluster film.

Grade: C-

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