Young people doing bad things seems to be a theme at the movies in 2013. During the spring we saw what happens when kids get rowdy, in “21 & Over” and Harmony Korine‘s cautionary tale of the American Dream, “Spring Breakers.” The teen trouble will continue this summer as Sofia Coppola drops “The Bling Ring,” which has a Cannes Film Festival premiere due in just a week or so. Some new images, a poster and the first review have just dropped online and all seem to point to good things.
Basing itself on a true story, Coppola’s film stars Emma Watson and tells the tale of a gaggle of youths who want it all, and steal from celebrities to live it up like they’ve always wanted. It isn’t long, of course, before the law comes knocking and gives them an entirely different kind of fame, but it’s still fame nonetheless. It’s another picture where the gorgeous surface offers a veneer for deeper concerns, and if the first review to drop from Film Comment (since yanked, but excerpted by Awards Daily) is anything to go by, Coppola has delivered:
Like ‘Somewhere,’ The Bling Ring sneaks up on you. ‘Somewhere’ during the first visit to Paris Hilton’s house (if it isn’t the real thing, it could just as well be), you might find yourself, as I did, alternately charmed, mesmerized, and horrified by the lives of the characters and the homes they enter. Halfway through the film, Marc and Rebecca wander through what is supposedly Orlando Bloom’s open-plan house at night, viewed from an exquisite remove several tiers above in the Hollywood hills, the sounds of howling coyotes and wailing police sirens quietly echoing in the distance—a suspended spell of uncanny beauty, and one of the most beautifully lyrical stretches I’ve seen in a movie in ages.
I’m not sure if Coppola’s film ends as satisfactorily as it might have—resolving a narrative about characters who lead unmotivated lives does present its dramatic problems—but I don’t think it matters all that much. Unlike Spring Breakers, with which the film will inevitably be compared (alongside Schrader’s ‘The Canyons’), ‘The Bling Ring’ goes about its business quietly but with a tremendous purity of focus. The film casts such a lovely spell that its full force may hit only after the lights come up.
Sounds great. “The Bling Ring” opens the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes and will hit theaters on June 14th.