The Bling Ring

THE BLING RING—–“I’m a firm believer in karma and I think this situation was attracted into my life as a huge learning lesson for me to grow and expand as a spiritual human being. I wanna lead a huge charity organization. I wanna lead a country one day, for all I know.”

From 2013, directed by Sofia Coppola, who wrote her script based off “The Suspects Wore Louboutins”, an article written by Nancy Jo Sales for “Vanity Fair”. The suspects stalking zillion-dollar homes and trendy discos in Louboutins were a seriously nervy, astonishingly vapid group of literally well-heeled teenagers who spent 10 months in 2008-9 burglarizing homes of celebrities in posh L.A. neighborhoods. The can-do entrepreneurial spirit lives on. *

The names were changed (to protect the incoherent), but the youth running wild are led by blithely amoral ‘Rebecca’ (Katie Chang, debut), who first entices proto-dupe ‘Marc’—with a ‘c’—that figures (Israel Broussard), then budding astrophysicist ‘Nikki’ (Emma Watson), her budding brain surgeon sister ‘Sam (Taissa Farmiga) and future train conductor ‘Chloe’ (Claire Julien) into dropping in on the exalted likes of Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox and, lest we forget, Lindsay Lohan. They choose to visit their cultural idols when they’re not at home, better to waltz off—on killer Louboutins—with cash, jewelry, clothes and whatever sparkly trinket their appetite can gobble. Three million bucks worth. Oddly, they don’t steal any books….

Stupid on a galactic scale, they leave trail crumbs a dead tree could find. Who knew security cameras existed? Why think “friendship” included not hanging them out to dry? Don’t the police have something better to do than solve crimes? The gall level is fascinating to behold, the dialogue exchanges are delicious, the cast excels. Best of all is Watson, who hysterically nails the heart of emptiness. Also applause worthy is Leslie Mann, as the Venus meets Pluto mother of gleeful-mean sisters Nikki and Sam, nailing New Age idiocy to a cross of satire. You may actually hurt your neck from shaking your head in disbelief at these crass creatures of comfort, but you’ll be laughing while it happens.

How the West Side was Done

90 minutes of mind-messing mischief that uses the sociopathic spawn of the 1% to bitchslap celebrity worship, Coppola sleekly designed it for $8,000,000, saving a bundle on sets by using some of the real properties that the rats ransacked. Yes, that is (or was, who cares?) the actual Paris Hilton crib!  Grosses scooped $20,045,576.  With Gavin Rossdale and Georgia Rock.

 * FYI: So you’re not cursed to be snubbed by someone with an I.Q. of…maybe 27, Louboutins are high-end stiletto heels, designed for those with money to burn along with what’s left of their brain cells. They can set your starvation allowance from your zonked-out parents back a good six grand. Talk about another reason to sharpen pitchforks and grease that guillotine–it wasn’t invented for chopping carrots.

Coppola: “They’re not sympathetic. But they’re really only misguided. And they’re still young. They’re getting all the culture in their lives from pop culture, which is sort of like having a bad diet.”

Israel Broussard, who plays the boy-dunce pet of the slinky Blingsta’s would emulate his character’s character in real life, after getting caught in 2018 tweeting out racial insults and conspiracy bile. His statement: “I am dedicated to becoming a more informed and educated version of myself.”

On a somewhat higher plane, Claire Julien observed about shooting at Hilton’s residence: “It was a surreal experience. And it’s not because we’re into her as a celebrity. It’s just weird! Her house is an entirely different world. It isn’t Earth; it’s an entirely different planet. Seeing how she lives her life and how her home looks really brought us into the mindset of these characters because that was the house where the actual robberies took place. We had fun there, too. Most of the time when we weren’t filming, Taissa and I were outside playing soccer with the security guards.”  Ya gotta have fun.

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