Sofia Coppola’s latest is about as interesting as the vapid microcosm in which it takes place: the small world of a bunch of half-wit Louboutin- and Vuitton-obsessed rich kids in L.A. They come up with the brilliant idea of finding out on the internet when this or that celebrity is out of town so they can sneak in the empty house and get their hands on the objects of their dreams. It’s mansion after mansion, gaudy and kitsch and filled with expensive trinkets–no one said sudden wealth, such as that enjoyed by Lindsay Lohan, or even being born to it, such as Paris Hilton, makes these people arbiters of taste and refinement, did they?
Naturally, this being a story with one or several morals (“Thou shalt not steal,” “Things will not bring you happiness,” and the one adhered to by Hitchcock in his television series, “Crime never, but never, pays,”) the burglars are caught, tried, and sentenced. Which we don’t care about more than we did about their repetitive heists.
“The Bling Ring,” based on an article in Vanity Fair telling the story—a true one—doesn’t do anything for viewers except making them moan “please, not again” when the hooded gang creeps about yet another dark mansion and takes off in the night with their loot. Nor does it do anything for the Coppola scion. The bitter truth is finally dawning on one and all that the lady’s promises, strong in “Lost in Translation,” were never held, that she’s fairly empty herself and can only talk about the artificial bling world in which she grew up (remember “Somewhere” or the period transposition, “Marie Antoinette”?)
Maybe this sorry tale could have amounted to something (character development? A few thrills? Good dialogue? A reflection on consumerism and our brand-oriented society?) in more skilled hands. But we’ll never know.