Researching the IMDB page for for Bling Ring http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2132285/, I did something I rarely do; read a subscriber review. icreatfilms_UK evidently felt an excoriating review was in order. And while I think this person sounds like a pompous arse, I did avoid Bling Ring at first for some of the reasons she hated the film. Meaning that even though the critic says the movie was boring and shallow, it’s really the kids portrayed who are thus.
Another criticism by the IMDBer was that Coppola appears holier than thou in her approach. Again, I totally disagree. The self-righteousness comes from the arrogance of misguided, rebellious teens (like those portrayed in the film) who feel they are above culpability. Coppola was just reporting the story, not condemning the kids. As Baretta’s theme song once admonished: “if you can’t do the time, than don’t do the crime”.
Now back to my cinema therapy:) I was thinking during the film how sad it is that males are so susceptible to female charms and probably why I will avoid “Beguiled”. In Bling Ring, the male lead Israel Broussard, falls prey to Katie Chang’s character, in being conned into helping her rob celebrity houses. I’ve seen this in real life time and time again*, and also why I refuse to use men for materialistic purposes even though I have had plenty of chances.
It’s also why I think we don’t need to continue the male bashing. We don’t need a big pants suit nation to prove we’re strong, just look around and see how women have won their fair share of battles between the sexes, without having to own any of the emotional use or abuse they dish out. In addition, I think guys feel more guilt about taking care of themselves than women do. They have been trained to suck it up, stick it out, to their own emotional demise.
*Three quick examples are: about five summers ago my best friend basically forgot about his entire existence after having the attention of a female. The excitement of someone wanting to have a physical relationship with him was so engrossing, he was ‘beguiled’ into ridiculous shenanigans that made him believe he caused her physical ailments, that without going into specifics, were definitely not his fault. A second example is a sweet teacher friend of mine who was constantly upbraided by his emotionally abusive wife, but continued/s to stay.
Last example: currently I work with a kind man who is socking a good deal of money into sending gifts to an ex-girlfriend who is 20 years his junior and who resides states away, all in naive hopes that they’ll reunite. If the ‘fairer sex’ in this example would be honest (instead of selfishly raking in the gifts) to tell the guy that she has no intention of reuniting, he could move on, but sadly, the bling ring continues to delude. To be fair, I’m not omnipotent, wh knows, maybe they’ll wind up together. Maybe I’m jealous that people can continue to communicate ‘after the love has gone’, rather than disappear into the mist.
Three shout outs for acting in this film are: Leslie Mann (great new agey super spacey mom), Emma Watson (captures the shake your head at this-girl-is-so-shallow) and Israel Broussard (the desperate male in need of a hug, and hence becomes a thug).
What will be Sofia Coppola’s claim to fame is her ability to put the film goer into a very specific milieu. In Lost in Translation, we feel lost and misunderstood like Bill Murray. In Marie Antoinette, we feel desperate like Kirsten Dunst. In Bling Ring (as semi annoying the continuous party and dance club scenes are) it is actually because of this materialistic lifestyle repetition that we feel empowered in a deluded way, that we, too, can be idolized if only we dress nicer and shine brighter.
Seek out Bling Ring if you never saw it. You’ll care about what you wear for at least for a day or two in an attempt to get a little more attention. And feeling different about the world is a cool, substance-free way to feel affected.