The Bling Ring

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The Bling Ring
The Bling Ring poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sofia Coppola
Produced by
Written by Sofia Coppola
Based on "The Suspects Wore Louboutins"
by Nancy Jo Sales
Starring
Music by
Cinematography
Edited by Sarah Flack
Production
companies
Distributed by A24
Release date
  • May 16, 2013 (2013-05-16) (Cannes)
  • June 14, 2013 (2013-06-14) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes[1]
Country United States
United Kingdom
Germany
France
Japan
Language English
Budget $8 million[2]
Box office $19.1 million[3]

The Bling Ring is a 2013 internationally co-produced satirical crime film written, directed and produced by Sofia Coppola.[4] It features an ensemble cast including newcomers Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, and Claire Julien, as well as Taissa Farmiga and Emma Watson. It is based on an article, "The Suspects Wore Louboutins" by Nancy Jo Sales, which dealt with a real-life gang known as the Bling Ring.

The film had its world premiere in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2013,[5] it was released in a limited release on June 14, before opening in a wide release on June 21, 2013 by A24 Films.

The Bling Ring represents the final work of cinematographer Harris Savides, who died of brain cancer while the film was in post-production. The film is dedicated to him.[6]

Plot[edit]

Quiet teenager Marc Hall (Israel Broussard) arrives as a new student at Indian Hills High School in Agoura Hills, California, he is befriended by fame-obsessed Rebecca Ahn (Katie Chang). While at a party at Rebecca's house, the pair check unlocked vehicles on the street, taking valuables such as cash and credit cards.

When Marc mentions that one of his wealthy acquaintances is out of town, Rebecca persuades him to join her in breaking into to his house. Rebecca steals a handbag, mentioning that her idol, Lindsay Lohan, has the same one, she also steals cash and the keys to a Porsche, which the pair use to flee the scene. With the cash, the two go on a shopping spree, affording themselves the luxury lifestyle they admire in magazines.

Marc visits a nightclub with Rebecca and her friends Nicki (Emma Watson), Nicki's adopted sister Sam (Taissa Farmiga), and Chloe (Claire Julien), where they rub shoulders with celebrities such as Kirsten Dunst and Paris Hilton. While researching Hilton on the Internet, Marc and Rebecca realize that she will be out of town, the pair go to her house, and finding the key under the doormat, they go through Hilton's belongings, taking some jewelry. Rebecca then flaunts a stolen bracelet to Nicki, Sam, and Chloe at a party.

At Nicki's request, Rebecca and Marc take her, Sam and Chloe back to Hilton's house, the group marvels at the excess of Hilton's lifestyle, and steals shoes, bags, dresses, cash, and jewelry. Marc and Rebecca return to rob Hilton's house on a third occasion, the pair also decides to rob the home of Audrina Patridge, once again using the Internet to determine when she will not be home. The entire group uses the same method to burgle the home of Megan Fox, with Nicki's younger sister Emily (Georgia Rock) squeezing through a pet door to gain access to the home.

The group enters the home of Orlando Bloom and his girlfriend, Miranda Kerr, the girls proceed to steal similar items, while Marc finds a case filled with seven of Bloom's Rolex watches along with a roll of cash. Chloe then helps Marc sell the watches to her friend, a night club manager named Ricky (Gavin Rossdale), the group returns once again to Hilton's house, with Sam's boyfriend Rob (Carlos Miranda), who also steals from the home.

A news report releases captured CCTV footage from the robbery at Patridge's home, this concerns Marc, but Rebecca is undeterred and instigates a burglary at the home of Rachel Bilson. Word spreads amongst the group's social circles, and the girls boast of their accomplishments at parties, also posting photographs of the stolen items on social media sites, the group ultimately breaks into Lohan's house and robs it. Shortly after, Rebecca moves to Las Vegas with her father due to troubles at home, leaving some of her stolen items with Marc, who inadvertently helps Rebecca transfer stolen items across state lines.

News reports of the Hollywood Hills burglaries intensify, with the media labeling the group "The Bling Ring". CCTV from several robberies in addition to the evidence on social media allows authorities to identify the group. Police arrest Marc, Nicki, Chloe, Rebecca, Rob, and Ricky, but Sam is not identified in the footage and avoids arrest. Marc cooperates with the police, informing them on the details of the burglaries, much to the chagrin of Rebecca, who has been identified as the ringleader. A Vanity Fair journalist interviews Marc, who is remorseful, and Nicki, who vehemently suggests the others were at fault, and that she was simply involved with the wrong people. Rebecca also denies being at fault and tries to pass the blame for all of this to Marc and her other friends, the group is ultimately prosecuted, receiving varying amounts of jail time and is ordered to collectively pay millions of dollars in restitution for the stolen items.

The group serves their jail time, and Marc and Rebecca each go into seclusion from the press, they never see or speak to each other again, and both of them steadfastly blame each other for the robberies.

In the final scene, set a few months later, Nicki is on a talk show talking about her time in jail, and reveals that her cell was next to Lohan's, after digressing, she turns to the audience (and the viewers) as she finds a way to enhance her newfound notoriety, telling them to visit her now-popular website detailing her life after "The Bling Ring".

Cast[edit]

Cameos

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In December 2011, it was reported that Sofia Coppola was developing a screenplay for a film based on The Bling Ring burglaries, to be directed and produced by her, her father, Francis Ford Coppola, would also executive produce the project through his American Zoetrope production company.[8] In April 2012, it was announced that financing had been set up with NALA Films, and Roman Coppola would also serve as a producer.[9]

Casting[edit]

Emma Watson joined the cast of the film on February 29, 2012.[10][11] On March 1, Taissa Farmiga was reported to have joined the main cast.[12] Also in early March, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the casting of Leslie Mann and Israel Broussard,[13] on March 16, Claire Julien joined the cast, and Katie Chang and Georgia Rock were confirmed for roles.[14] That same month, Carlos Miranda was cast in a supporting role;[15] in late March, Kirsten Dunst and Paris Hilton were both confirmed to make cameos in the film, appearing as themselves.[16][17] Gavin Rossdale was spotted on the set of the film on March 27, 2012.[18]

Filming[edit]

Production primarily took place in and around Los Angeles, California in March and April 2012; notably in West Hollywood, Lynwood, and Venice.[19] Paris Hilton, who was a victim during the actual Bling Ring robberies, and Kirsten Dunst both made cameo appearances in the film.[20] Some scenes were shot in the celebrity victim's homes and at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California.[21]

Soundtrack[edit]

The Bling Ring: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The Bling Ring Soundtrack Cover.jpg
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released June 11, 2013
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 1:19:44
Label Def Jam Records

"I spent a few months listening to everything that is out now, and then going back a bit to when the story actually happened. So the Kanye stuff was fair game, as well as the newer stuff, the Can stuff is interesting, because the other side is the score, the sound of L.A. at night when they're driving around. I thought that it would be really cool to use Klaus Schulze and some of the German stuff that I really, really love, and it's amazing how well those tracks fit next to each other."

– Reitzell, on the variety of music[22]

The Bling Ring: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was supervised by frequent Coppola collaborator Brian Reitzell. The film's soundtrack album was released on June 11, 2013 by Def Jam Recordings,[23] it contains a mix of music ranging between such genres as hip-hop/rap, krautrock, and electronic.[24] The musical score for the film was written by Reitzell in collaboration with Daniel Lopatin, known mostly under the recording name of Oneohtrix Point Never;[25] in addition, Reitzell worked closely with Coppola to find contemporary music that would fit within the film's setting. After being contacted for song contributions, rapper Kanye West recommended Reitzell use Frank Ocean's then-unreleased "Super Rich Kids". Coppola's husband's band, Phoenix, also contributed the title track from their album Bankrupt!.[22]

Track listing
No. Title Writer(s) Performer Length
1. "Crown on the Ground" Alexis Krauss, Derek E. Miller Sleigh Bells 3:49
2. "9 Piece" William Leonard Roberts II, Dwayne Carter, Lexus Lewis Rick Ross featuring Lil Wayne 5:17
3. "Sunshine" Ryeisha Berrain, Maya Arulpragasam Rye Rye featuring M.I.A. 3:22
4. "212" Azealia Banks, Jef Martens Azealia Banks featuring Lazy Jay 3:26
5. "Ouroboros" Daniel Lopatin Oneohtrix Point Never 2:02
6. "Money Machine" Tauheed Epps, Christopher Gholson 2 Chainz 4:42
7. "Bad Girls" Mathangi Arulpragasam, Nate Hills, Marcella Araica M.I.A. 3:48
8. "All of the Lights" Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Yusef El Shabbaz Jones, Scott Mescudi, Warren Trotter Kanye West 4:59
9. "Drop It Low" Christopher Maurice Brown, Ester Dean, Jamal F. Jones Ester Dean featuring Chris Brown 3:14
10. "Gucci Bag" Gemar Akoto, Kwadwo Boateng, Reem Oweti Reema Major 3:54
11. "Halleluhwah" Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit, Irmin Schmidt, Holger Schweizer, Kenji Suzuki Can 5:36
12. "Power" Kanye West, Larry Griffin Jr., Mike Dean, Jeff Bhasker, Andwele Gardner, Ken Lewis, Francois Bernheim, Jean-Pierre Lang, Boris Bergman, Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald Kanye West 4:52
13. "Freeze" Klaus Schulze Klaus Schulze 6:39
14. "FML" Joel Zimmerman Deadmau5 6:35
15. "The Bling Ring Suite" Brian Reitzell, Daniel Lopatin Brian Reitzell and Daniel Lopatin 6:52
16. "Bankrupt!" Thomas Mars, Deck d'Arcy, Laurent Brancowitz, Christian Mazzalai Phoenix 6:56
17. "Super Rich Kids" Christopher Breaux, Malay, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, Kirk Robinson, Nathaniel Robinson Jr., Ray Hammond, Mark Morales, Mark Rooney Frank Ocean featuring Earl Sweatshirt 5:04
Total length: 1:19:44

Distribution[edit]

Coppola at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for the premiere

Release[edit]

In January 2013, A24 Films acquired domestic distribution rights to the film,[26] the film opened the Un Certain Regard section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on May 16.[5][27] The film is Coppola's third film in a row that deals heavily with the famous, following Marie Antoinette and Somewhere, a drama about a renowned actor and his 11-year-old daughter. About the premiere in Cannes, she said, "It seems like the perfect setting for The Bling Ring when you see people walking around in their heels. It's a glamorous place, so it feels appropriate." The film closed the 39th Seattle International Film Festival on June 9, 2013.[28][29]

Home media[edit]

The Bling Ring was released via digital download on September 6, 2013, and on DVD and Blu-ray on September 17, 2013 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The extras include a behind the scenes making of the film, an interview with Coppola, and a tour of a crime scene by Bling Ring target Paris Hilton.[30]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

In its debut weekend in the United States, the film opened in five theaters with $214,395, for a per-theater average of $42,879,[31] it was Coppola's best opening, beating out Lost in Translation's intake of $40,221 from 23 locations in 2003. The following weekend, The Bling Ring expanded to 650 theaters, making $2 million for a per-theater average of $3,080,[32] the film went on to gross $5.8 million domestically and $19.1 million worldwide.[3]

Critical response[edit]

The Bling Ring received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 60% approval rating, based on reviews from 186 critics, with a weighted average of 6.3/10. The site's consensus reads, "While it's certainly timely and beautifully filmed, The Bling Ring suffers from director Sofia Coppola's failure to delve beneath the surface of its shallow protagonists' real-life crimes."[33] This made it Coppola's second-lowest rated movie after Marie Antoinette.[34] Metacritic has assigned the film an average score of 66 out of 100, based on 40 reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "generally positive reviews".[35] The film has drawn comparisons to the Day-Glo cinematography of Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, which was also released under A24 Films.[36]

Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly had a positive opinion, writing, "Watching The Bling Ring, the audience is invited to understand the impulses of these child-woman thieves, even as Coppola stands firmly apart from their craziness and sees them for who they are."[37] Robbie Collin from The Daily Telegraph said, "Everything comes together for the good here: visuals, performances, raucous soundtrack, Coppola's teasing flirtation with, yet ultimate lack of commitment to, some kind of concrete morality."[38] Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter said, "Coppola's attitude toward her subject seems equivocal, uncertain; there is perhaps a smidgen of social commentary, but she seems far too at home in the world she depicts to offer a rewarding critique of it."[39]

The film's star, Emma Watson, at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival

Emma Watson's performance as Nicki received critical acclaim. Richard Roeper called her "comedic gold",[40] while Gleiberman wrote that Watson "proves that her willingness to take chances is only growing, and that she's an actress serious enough to turn a line like 'Your butt looks awesome!' into something that reveals character." Cath Clarke of Time Out commented positively on Watson defying her stunt casting, saying, "The real story here isn't the good-girl-goes-bad stunt casting; it's that Watson can act. Against the odds, the Harry Potter star gives a sharp, knowing smart performance as Nicki."[41] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, "Emma Watson is sensational as Nicki, an underage club girl and actress wanna-be, who lives in a universe of Valley Girl narcissism eons away from Hogwarts."[42] Even critics who gave the film overall negative reviews singled Watson out for praise, with Peter Howell from Toronto Star saying, "The undistinguished young cast of The Bling Ring has just one standout, and that's Emma Watson, who plays one of the most vacuous of the juvenile thieves. We know her best as the brainy Hermione from the Harry Potter movies, and she can obviously do brainless equally well."[43] Joe Neumaier of New York Daily News wrote, "Watson, though, does a great imitation of hollow-eyed gaze; her character is the one who tries to parlay notoriety into success (everyone else can, she figures). The one-time Harry Potter star captures the slack-jawed fan only too well."[44] Alexis Neiers, who inspired Watson's character, found the film adaptation "innacurate and trashy" after she saw its first trailer.[45]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2013 Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard Award Sofia Coppola Nominated
2013 Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards Dorothy Arzner Directors Award Won
2014 Golden Trailer Awards Best Independent TV Spot "Roster" Trailer (A24 Films) Nominated
2014 Best Teaser Poster The Bling Ring (Pathé) Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE BLING RING (15)". British Board of Film Classification. April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ Galloway, Stephen (May 8, 2013). "'The Bling Ring's' Sofia Coppola: The Trials, Tears and Talent". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "The Bling Ring (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (July 4, 2013). "Sofia Coppola on The Bling Ring: 'What these kids did really took ingenuity'". The Guardian. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "'Bling Ring' Will Open Cannes' Un Certain Regard Sidebar". Deadline.com. April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (June 21, 2013). "The Bling Ring Movie Review & Film Summary (2013)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Emma Watson auf Diebestour in The Bling Ring". Moviepilot (in German). April 24, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ Blodgett, Lucy (December 5, 2011). "Sofia Coppola's Bling Ring Film In Development: Report". The Huffington Post. 
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (April 2, 2012). "Financing set for Sofia Coppola film". Variety. 
  10. ^ Kit, Borys (February 29, 2012). "Sofia Coppola Recruits Emma Watson for 'The Bling Ring'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Emma Watson's magic new look". The Sun. March 22, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 1, 2012). "'Horror Story' thesp Farmiga lands 2 roles". Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (March 6, 2012). "Leslie Mann, Israel Broussard Cast in Sofia Coppola's 'Bling Ring' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  14. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (March 16, 2012). "Claire Julien Joins 'The Bling Ring'". Deadline.com. 
  15. ^ Lyttelton, Oliver (March 22, 2012). "'Warrior' Actor Carlos Miranda Joins Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' Plus Details On The Script". IndieWire. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ Dang, Simon (March 28, 2012). "Kirsten Dunst Hits The Set Of Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring'". IndieWire. 
  17. ^ Eames, Tom (March 29, 2012). "Paris Hilton 'to cameo as herself in Emma Watson's The Bling Ring'". Digital Spy. 
  18. ^ Gicas, Peter (March 27, 2012). "Gavin Rossdale Arrested for Role in Bling Ring...the Movie!". E! News. 
  19. ^ Miller, Lindsay (March 23, 2012). "Emma Watson on The Bling Ring Set in LA". Pop Sugar. 
  20. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (January 16, 2013). "Distributors A24 Pick Up Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring,' Slated For June Release". IndieWire. 
  21. ^ Shaw, Lucas (January 16, 2013). "Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' Goes to A24". TheWrap. 
  22. ^ a b Mertens, Max (June 6, 2013). "Inside 'The Bling Ring' Soundtrack". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  23. ^ "The Bling Ring: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Explicit] [+digital booklet]". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ Pelly, Jenn (May 16, 2013). "Sofia Coppola's Bling Ring Features Kanye, Frank Ocean, M.I.A., More, Score by Oneohtrix Point Never". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Bling Ring Movie Soundtrack To Be Released June 11th By Def Jam Recordings". Def Jam Recordings. May 16, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  26. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (January 16, 2013). "The Bling Ring release date – June Target for Sofia Coppola Film". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  27. ^ Rosen, Christopher (May 16, 2013). "'The Bling Ring' Reviews: Sofia Coppola's Burglar Bunch Film Debuts At Cannes". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' to Close Seattle Film Festival". TheWrap. April 30, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  29. ^ "'Bling Ring' To Close 2013 Seattle Film Fest". Deadline.com. April 30, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  30. ^ "The Bling Ring (2013)". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ Brooks, Brian (June 16, 2013). "Specialty Box Office: 'Bling Ring' Sparkles With A Haute Debut". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  32. ^ Subers, Ray (June 23, 2013). "Weekend Report: 'Monsters' and Zombies Both Win On Busy Weekend". Box Office Mojo. 
  33. ^ "The Bling Ring (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Maire Antoinette (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  35. ^ "The Bling Ring Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  36. ^ Coyle, Jake (May 17, 2013). "The Bling Ring at Cannes Film Festival 2013: Sofia Coppola's movie about celebrity starring Emma Watson opens". The Independent. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  37. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (May 16, 2013). "Cannes 2013: The girls have gone wild in 'The Bling Ring,' Sofia Coppola's most provocative film yet". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  38. ^ Collin, Robbie (May 16, 2013). "Cannes 2013: The Bling Ring, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  39. ^ McCarthy, Todd (May 16, 2013). "The Bling Ring: Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  40. ^ "The Bling Ring Review". RichardRoeper.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  41. ^ Clarke, Cath (July 2, 2013). "The Bling Ring (15)". Time Out. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  42. ^ Travers, Peter (June 13, 2013). "The Bling Ring". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  43. ^ Howell, Peter (June 21, 2013). "The Bling Ring review: Lifestyles of the Vacant and Greedy". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  44. ^ Neumaier, Joe (June 13, 2013). "'The Bling Ring': movie review". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  45. ^ Child, Ben (2013-04-30). "The Bling Ring 'trashy and inaccurate', says real-life burglary gang member". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-05-16. 

External links[edit]