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The so-called Bling Ring preyed on celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom and Rachel Bilson, breaking into their homes to steal luxury goods that they’d proudly post online.

Merrick Morton

The Bling Ring
Written by
Sofia Coppola
Directed by
Sofia Coppola
Katie Chang, Emma Watson, Claire Julien, Israel Broussard

From Lost in Translation to Marie Antoinette to Somewhere, Sofia Coppola has shown a keen interest in those who live inside the celebrity fishbowl. In The Bling Ring, she focuses on those outside the velvet ropes in the true story of a group of Southern California teens who closely followed the schedules of their favourite celebrities – Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom and Audrina Patridge. Then, knowing when the celebs would be away and having Googled their addresses, the kids would rob their homes of designer clothes and jewellery, posting the trophies on Facebook.

Hovering between broad satire and wry diagnosis, Coppola's film changes only the names of the guilty kids, some of them home-schooled according to the tenets of the self-help book The Secret, with life goals that included "to have my own lifestyle brand." Gracefully shot by the late cinematographer Harris Savides (who became ill during production) and Christopher Blauvelt, this coolly observed film shows how serious superficiality can be in a world where a clip of your arrest on TMZ represents a redemption from the purgatory of anonymity.

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