The Bling Ring was the name given by the media to a group of Los Angeles teenagers who was behind a series of Hollywood celebrity house robberies in 2008-9. It began with the idea to simply visit Paris Hilton’s house knowing she was away hosting a party in Las Vegas.
Using the Internet and Google Maps, Rebecca (Katie Chang) & Marc (Israel Broussard) found her Beverley Hills address and simply walked into Paris Hilton’s house, helping themselves to clothes and money. The two bragged to friends and before long a group returned; and what started as bored teenagers having fun turns into an addiction and a lifestyle. The gang soon becomes famous in the local club scene for their stylish clothes and money.
With naivety, excitement and no sense or concern towards their criminality, it is only a matter of time before their misdemeanors are captured on CCTV and a string of burglaries are investigated.
The Bling Ring is based on true life events and a Vanity Fair article that exposed the burglary gang to be “club-hopping Valley kids, motivated by vanity and celebrity-worship.” The gang was accused of stealing more than $3 million in clothing and jewellery from the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and other Hollywood celebrities.
The Bling Ring is written and directed by Sofia Coppola and stars Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, Israel Broussard, Claire Julien, Katie Chang and Leslie Mann. Scenes were actually filmed at Paris Hilton’s house and the celebrity even plays a cameo role as herself in the movie.
Coppola manages to present the story of robberies, clubbing and a spiraling out-of-control hedonism in true understated fashion that will find a niche market. As with her previous films – Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation, this is not for those who seek deep and meaningful, twists and turns or 90 minutes of loud explosions and death-defying heroes. Personally, I enjoy the way Coppola lures you in with an understated matter-of-fact low budget style that doesn’t rely on special effects or over-the-top theatrics and leaves me being pleasantly entertained.
For someone uninterested, and somewhat opposed to the contemporary cult of celebrity, I found the film to be very absorbing, but more so, if celebrity gossip does appeal, the special features including a featurette “Scene Of The Crime” with Paris Hilton.
The Bling Ring is out on DVD and Blu-ray on the 28th October and includes the special features: Making The Bling Ring, Behind The Real Bling, Scene Of The Crime With Paris Hilton, an interview with Sofia Coppola and the film trailer.