I can’t really claim that Sofia Coppola’s latest, The Bling Ring, is a disappointment, since I’ve never cared that much for her other films. Still, I was hoping that this one might be different — and on the surface it might be, since for Coppola this one is action-packed, but when all is said and done, it’s another of her languorous meditations on the travails and ennui of the rich and privileged. It would seem to be a natural for her — the rich and famous (or notorious) being burgled by the quasi-rich and not famous. But she seems almost baffled by the whole thing. It’s not that it’s a bad movie. Certainly, its “youth runs wild” story is wittier and less obnoxious than Harmony Korine’s feverish Spring Breakers. Mostly, it’s just on the inconsequential side. The film is based on real life events that are apparently well known to people in L.A., readers of tabloids, and those addicted to TMZ. (The film credits a Vanity Fair article as its main source.) It’s at least fictionalized enough to warrant name changes, but it mostly seems to follow the actual events. Coppola’s film does its tabloid celebrities no favors. Paris Hilton gets hit particularly hard — or rather is dumb enough to allow herself to be hit hard. It’s established that the film had access to Hilton’s home, but not whether all that we see inside is her home. If it is, this woman with walls and walls of photos and even throw-pillows festooned with her image must be even more of a narcissistic boob than I thought. But where does that get us? I don’t know — a slowly paced heist movie where the over-privileged rip off the even more over-privileged? What Coppola ultimately gives us is a kind of Lifestyles of the Rich and Vapid. Maybe that’s her point, but I still don’t get the point of her point, apart from another dose of how hard it is to be rich, and how it’s even worse if you’re also famous.
Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for The Bling Ring