The Bling Ring
Sofia Coppola has made a career of investigating privilege and the privileged, but her fifth film turns its gaze toward those of us who yearn for it. "The Bling Ring," which was met with critical indifference upon its release earlier this year, dramatizes the true story tale of five LA teens who robbed the homes of celebrities, walking in without struggle and walking out with as much brand-name gear as they could carry. They weren’t after cash, or class advancement: They just wanted the Chanel, the Gucci, the Prada.
Coppola slowly morphs the film into a melancholic reverie; speedily editing through Facebook pages and TMZ clips and drug-and-EDM-fueled nightclub adventures. Her previous films focused on spiritual emptiness, existential struggles, and characters that fought against their seemingly-predefined positions in the world. "The Bling Ring" laments a generation so focused on pleasure, so focused on the self, that they’ve no interest in chasing or contemplating those higher-minded concepts.
Coppola zeroes in on their personalities without offering psychological insights into them-- she leaves interpretation to the viewer. So the film comes surrounded by a number of features that expound on the picture without aiming to simplify it. "Making The Bling Ring" is a standard 20-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, with the cast pontificating about Coppola’s directing skills and giving their own (sometimes contradictory) takes on the themes of the film. "Behind The Real Bling Ring" features journalist Nancy Jo Sales -- who’s actually portrayed in a bit part during the film -- walking viewers through the details and circumstances of the real-life case that inspired the movie. There’s the standard theatrical trailer as well, and, finally, a short interview with Paris Hilton, concerning both the real life robberies and her take on how Coppola dramatized them.
Coppola’s resistance to allowing easy interpretation is her defining feature, some heralding it as her greatest strength, and others noting it as her most glaring weakness. So it’s no surprise the extra features illuminate -- rather than explain -- the film they accompany.
"The Bling Ring"
Blu-ray/Digital Copy Combo Pack