Film review | The Bling Ring – Pretty, vacant: Sofia Coppola’s celeb-obsessed teens go on a crime spree

The Bling Ring

The lifestyles of the rich and famous continue to preoccupy Sophia Coppola, but with The Bling Ring her perspective has changed.

Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette and Somewhere, her last three movies, gave us the view from inside the bubble of celebrity looking out; this stranger-than-fiction tale flips things around to show us some of those hungrily peering in.

Coppola’s gawpers are lightly fictionalised versions of the real-life gang of fame-obsessed LA teenagers who went on a giddy crime spree in 2008 and 2009, breaking into the homes of a string of celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Megan Fox, Orlando Bloom and reality TV star Audrina Patridge, and walking out with over $3million of designer goods.

The story just gets better. To know when and where to strike, the teens surfed gossip sites to find out when their victims would be out of town and simply Googled their addresses. Breaking in was even easier. Typically, the stars’ homes were unlocked; Hilton obligingly left her key under the mat and only noticed anything had gone missing after six raids by the gang.

Coppola observes all this with her usual deadpan cool, finding satirical gold everywhere she looks. (Keep an eye out for Hilton’s face on her own sofa cushions.) And she gets great performances from her cast, led by Katie Chung as ringleader Rebecca and Israel Broussard as pliant follower Marc, the group’s sole boy. Best of all is Emma Watson, shredding her image as Hogwarts goody-two-shoes with a scene-stealing turn as vapid celebrity wannabe Nicki.

In cinemas from Friday 5th July.

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