Sofia Coppola has made a career out of lensing lost souls blighted by ennui and emptiness, and her fifth film, The Bling Ring , spies the same subject from a different angle.
Playing in the Un Certain Regard section, Coppola’s achingly hip, down-with-the-kids movie takes for its inspiration a Vanity Fair article entitled ‘The Suspects Wore Louboutins’, and recounts the strange 2008-2009 tale of the Hollywood Hills Burglars.
And so we’re greeted with a gang of rich, disaffected teens who aid their lifestyle by ransacking the homes of the rich and famous.
Led by Rebecca (Katie Chang), and with Marc (Israel Broussard) and Nicki (Emma Watson) also playing key roles, they use Google to discover when the likes of Paris Hilton, Megan Fox and Lindsay Lohan are out of town… then crash their empty pads for clothes, accessories and rolls of cash.
Hilariously, the celebs are portrayed as pretty dumb, with Hilton leaving her house keys under the mat, Orlando Bloom failing to lock up, and Fox inviting easy entry with an oversized dog flap.
It’s all a great deal of fun and Coppola’s sweet script, like, literally nails the repetitive teen-speak - ‘OMG’s to these guys are like ‘fucks’ to Scorsese’s goodfellas – but the heady hedonism feels tame after Harmony Korine’s Spring Breaker s .
And just as viewers never really feel the rush of the drugs, clubs and fast cars, they’ll also have a hard time empathising with any pain the protagonists are burying.
Watson plays grown up and fucked up and does a decent job of it, but she, like the rest of the cast, lack the gravitas or soulfulness of Scarlett Johansson in Lost In Translation or Kirsten Dunst in The Virgin Suicides .
The Bling Ring looks great and is fun while it lasts, but is ultimately not a great deal more profound than the celebrity culture it holds accountable for these wanton waifs.