The Bling Ring

The Bling Ring is a 2013 satirical crime film written and directed by Sofia Coppola[5] featuring an ensemble cast led by Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, and Claire Julien. It is based on the 2010 Vanity Fair article "The Suspects Wore Louboutins" by Nancy Jo Sales, which dealt with a real-life gang known as the Bling Ring. The story follows a group of fame-obsessed teenagers who use the internet to track celebrities' whereabouts in order to burgle their homes.

The Bling Ring
The Bling Ring poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySofia Coppola
Screenplay bySofia Coppola
Based on"The Suspects Wore Louboutins"
by Nancy Jo Sales
Produced by
Starring
Cinematography
Edited bySarah Flack
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed by
  • A24 (United States)
  • StudioCanal (United Kingdom)[1]
  • Pathé Distribution (France)[1]
  • Tobis Film (Germany)[1]
  • Tohokushinsha Film (Japan)[1]
Release date
  • May 16, 2013 (2013-05-16) (Cannes)
  • June 12, 2013 (2013-06-12) (France)
  • June 14, 2013 (2013-06-14) (United States)
  • July 5, 2013 (2013-07-05) (United Kingdom)
  • August 15, 2013 (2013-08-15) (Germany)
  • December 14, 2013 (2013-12-14) (Japan)
Running time
90 minutes[2]
Countries
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8 million[3]
Box office$20 million[4]

The film was an international co-production by producers in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan. Coppola began developing a screenplay based on the real-life burglaries in December 2011. Casting took place in early 2012, and principal photography started in March of that same year in Los Angeles, California.

The Bling Ring had its world premiere on May 16, 2013 in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[6] In the United States, it had a limited theatrical release by A24 on June 14, 2013, before opening wide one week later. It received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, with many praising the cast and Coppola's "stylish" direction; Watson in particular received critical acclaim for her performance. However, others criticized the film for its "shallow" and morally ambiguous approach towards the subject matter.[7]

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.[8]

PlotEdit

Quiet teenager Marc Hall arrives as a new student at Indian Hills High School in Agoura Hills, California. Soon after arriving, he is befriended by fame-obsessed Rebecca Ahn. While at a party at her house, Rebecca persuades Marc to sneak away with her, and the pair check the doors of cars on the street, taking valuables such as cash and credit cards from unlocked vehicles. They begin hanging out after school, and Marc starts to see Rebecca as a sister figure.

One day, Rebecca asks Marc if he knows anyone who is out of town, and he mentions that a wealthy acquaintance is in Jamaica. She convinces Marc to join her in breaking into the empty house, where she steals a handbag like one that her idol Lindsay Lohan has, cash, and the keys to a Porsche, which the pair use to flee the scene. They go on a shopping spree with the money, buying themselves luxury items like the ones they have previously admired in magazines.

Marc visits a nightclub with Rebecca and her friends (who include Nicki Moore, Nicki's adoptive sister Sam, and Chloe Tainer), where they ogle celebrities Kirsten Dunst and Paris Hilton. Later, while researching Hilton on the internet, Marc and Rebecca realize she is out of town. They find her address, go to her house, and, upon finding a key under the doormat, break in. They go through Hilton's belongings and take some jewelry with them, including a bracelet that Rebecca later flaunts 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. A drunk Chloe gets into an accident while driving away; she is arrested and sentenced to community service.

Marc and Rebecca return to rob Hilton's house on a third occasion and are nearly discovered by security. They then rob the home of Audrina Patridge, using the internet to determine when she will not be home. The group sells unwanted bags and other items at an outdoor market.

The entire group burgles the home of Megan Fox. Nicki even brings her younger sister Emily, who squeezes through a pet door to gain access to the house. Nicki discovers a handgun inside, and Sam playfully threatens Marc with it before taking it to her boyfriend Rob's home. When he grabs her, the gun goes off, though no one is injured.

The group enters the home of Orlando Bloom and his girlfriend, Miranda Kerr. The girls steal various items and Marc finds a case filled with seven of Bloom's Rolex watches and a roll of cash. Chloe helps Marc sell the watches to her friend Ricky, a night club manager. The teens later return to Hilton's house with Rob, who finds and steals large amounts of jewelry.

A news report containing security footage from the robbery at Patridge's home concerns Marc, but Rebecca is undeterred. She instigates a burglary at the home of Rachel Bilson, and the group ultimately breaks into Lohan's house and robs it. Shortly thereafter, Rebecca moves to Las Vegas with her father, ostensibly due to troubles at home, leaving some of her stolen items with Marc.

Media coverage of the Hollywood Hills burglaries intensifies, and the group acquires the label "The Bling Ring". Authorities ultimately identify the group using security footage from several robberies, statements from members of the group's social circle who heard its members brag about their exploits at drug-fueled parties, and photographs of the stolen items posted by the group on social media sites. Marc, Nicki, Chloe, Rebecca, Rob, and Ricky are arrested; Sam was not caught on camera and is able to avoid suspicion.

Marc cooperates with the police, informing them of 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, but amazed at how much attention he has gotten, and Nicki, who claims the others were at fault and she is a religious humanitarian. When the group is prosecuted, they receive varying amounts of jail time and are ordered to pay millions of dollars in restitution for the stolen items. Marc is transported to prison, alone among various older criminals.

In the final scene, Nicki recounts her 30 days in jail on a talk show and reveals that Lohan was in the same facility at the same time. She then turns to the camera and promotes her website, where people can learn everything about her "journey".

CastEdit

Cameos

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

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 herself. Her father, Francis Ford Coppola, executive produced the project through his American Zoetrope production company.[10] In April 2012, it was announced that financing had been set up with NALA Films and Roman Coppola would also serve as a producer.[11]

CastingEdit

Emma Watson joined the cast of the film on February 29, 2012,[12] and on March 1, Taissa Farmiga was reported to have joined the main cast.[13] Also in early March, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the casting of Leslie Mann and Israel Broussard.[14] On March 16, Claire Julien joined the cast, and Katie Chang and Georgia Rock were also confirmed for roles.[15] That same month, Carlos Miranda was cast in a supporting role.[16] In late March, Kirsten Dunst and Paris Hilton were both confirmed to have cameos in the film as themselves.[17][18] Gavin Rossdale was spotted on the set of the film on March 27, 2012.[19]

FilmingEdit

Production primarily took place in and around Los Angeles, California, in March and April 2012, notably in West Hollywood, Lynwood, and Venice.[20] Paris Hilton, who was a victim of the actual Bling Ring robberies, and Kirsten Dunst both made cameo appearances in the film.[21] Some scenes were shot in the celebrity victims' homes and at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California.[22]

SoundtrackEdit

The Bling Ring: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedJune 11, 2013
GenreFilm soundtrack
Length1:19:44
LabelDef 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[23]

The Bling Ring: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was supervised by frequent Coppola collaborator Brian Reitzell. The soundtrack album was released on June 11, 2013, by Def Jam Recordings.[24] It contains a mix of music ranging between such genres as hip-hop/rap, krautrock, and electronic.[25]

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.[26] Coppola's husband's band, Phoenix, also contributed the title track from their album Bankrupt!.[23]

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."

Tracklist
Track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)PerformerLength
1."Crown on the Ground"Alexis Krauss, Derek E. MillerSleigh Bells3:49
2."9 Piece"William Leonard Roberts II, Dwayne Carter, Lexus LewisRick Ross featuring Lil Wayne5:17
3."Sunshine"Ryeisha Berrain, Maya ArulpragasamRye Rye featuring M.I.A.3:22
4."212"Azealia Banks, Jef MartensAzealia Banks featuring Lazy Jay3:26
5."Ouroboros"Daniel LopatinOneohtrix Point Never2:02
6."Money Machine"Tauheed Epps, Christopher Gholson2 Chainz4:42
7."Bad Girls"Mathangi Arulpragasam, Nate Hills, Marcella AraicaM.I.A.3:48
8."All of the Lights"Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Yusef El Shabbaz Jones, Scott Mescudi, Warren TrotterKanye West4:59
9."Drop It Low"Christopher Maurice Brown, Ester Dean, Jamal F. JonesEster Dean featuring Chris Brown3:14
10."Gucci Bag"Gemar Akoto, Kwadwo Boateng, Reem OwetiReema Major3:54
11."Halleluhwah"Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit, Irmin Schmidt, Holger Schweizer, Kenji SuzukiCan5:36
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 McDonaldKanye West4:52
13."Freeze"Klaus SchulzeKlaus Schulze6:39
14."FML"Joel ZimmermanDeadmau56:35
15."The Bling Ring Suite"Brian Reitzell, Daniel LopatinBrian Reitzell and Daniel Lopatin6:52
16."Bankrupt!"Thomas Mars, Deck d'Arcy, Laurent Brancowitz, Christian MazzalaiPhoenix6:56
17."Super Rich Kids"Christopher Breaux, Malay, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, Kirk Robinson, Nathaniel Robinson Jr., Ray Hammond, Mark Morales, Mark RooneyFrank Ocean featuring Earl Sweatshirt5:04
Total length:1:19:44

DistributionEdit

 
Coppola at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for the premiere

ReleaseEdit

In January 2013, A24 acquired domestic distribution rights to the film.[27] It opened the Un Certain Regard section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on May 16.[6][28] About the premiere in Cannes, Coppola 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.[29][30]

Home mediaEdit

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 documentary, a short piece about the real Bling Ring, and a tour by Bling Ring target Paris Hilton of her home (which was a crime scene as well as a filming location).[31]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

In its debut weekend in the United States, the film opened in five theaters and earned $214,395, for a per-theater average of $42,879.[32] It was Coppola's best opening per-theater average, beating out Lost in Translation's intake of $40,221 for each of 23 locations in 2003. The following weekend, The Bling Ring expanded to 650 theaters, earning $2 million, for a per-theater average of $3,080.[33] The film went on to gross $5.8 million domestically and $20 million worldwide.[4]

Critical responseEdit

The Bling Ring received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 60% “Fresh” approval rating, based on reviews from 208 critics, with a weighted average of 6.3/10. The website's critical 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."[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]

 
Emma Watson's performance received critical acclaim.

Owen Gleiberman of 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 of The Daily Telegraph stated, "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 of The Hollywood Reporter was less positive, stating, "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]

Watson's performance as Nicki Moore was critically acclaimed. 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, 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, "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 out Watson for praise, with Peter Howell of the Toronto Star stating, "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 Granger 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]

AccoladesEdit

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
2013 International Online Cinema Awards Best Supporting Actress Emma Watson Nominated
2013 Indiana Film Journalists Association Awards Nominated
2013 Village Voice Film Poll Nominated
2014 Golden Trailer Awards Best Independent TV Spot "Roster" Trailer (A24 Films) Nominated
2014 Best Teaser Poster The Bling Ring (Pathé) Nominated

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ "THE BLING RING (15)". British Board of Film Classification. April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
  3. ^ Galloway, Stephen (May 8, 2013). "'The Bling Ring's' Sofia Coppola: The Trials, Tears and Talent". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "The Bling Ring (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (July 4, 2013). "Sofia Coppola on The Bling Ring: 'What these kids did really took ingenuity'". The Guardian. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "'Bling Ring' Will Open Cannes' Un Certain Regard Sidebar". Deadline Hollywood. April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  7. ^ Ryan, Tim (June 21, 2013). "Critics Consensus: Monsters University is Certified Fresh". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  8. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (June 21, 2013). "The Bling Ring Movie Review & Film Summary (2013)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "Emma Watson auf Diebestour in The Bling Ring". Moviepilot (in German). April 24, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  10. ^ Blodgett, Lucy (December 5, 2011). "Sofia Coppola's Bling Ring Film In Development: Report". The Huffington Post.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (April 2, 2012). "Financing set for Sofia Coppola film". Variety.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (February 29, 2012). "Sofia Coppola Recruits Emma Watson for 'The Bling Ring'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 1, 2012). "'Horror Story' thesp Farmiga lands 2 roles". Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  14. ^ Kit, Borys (March 6, 2012). "Leslie Mann, Israel Broussard Cast in Sofia Coppola's 'Bling Ring' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  15. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 16, 2012). "Claire Julien Joins 'The Bling Ring'". Deadline Hollywood.
  16. ^ Lyttelton, Oliver (March 22, 2012). "'Warrior' Actor Carlos Miranda Joins Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' Plus Details On The Script". IndieWire. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
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  22. ^ Shaw, Lucas (January 16, 2013). "Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' Goes to A24". TheWrap.
  23. ^ a b Mertens, Max (June 6, 2013). "Inside 'The Bling Ring' Soundtrack". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
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  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "The Bling Ring Movie Soundtrack To Be Released June 11th By Def Jam Recordings". Def Jam Recordings. May 16, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  27. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (January 16, 2013). "The Bling Ring release date – June Target for Sofia Coppola Film". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  28. ^ 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.
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  33. ^ Subers, Ray (June 23, 2013). "Weekend Report: 'Monsters' and Zombies Both Win On Busy Weekend". Box Office Mojo.
  34. ^ "The Bling Ring (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
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  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. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
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  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.

External linksEdit