In a summer movie season packed with superheroic men, check out this week’s "Sleeper to See" for a refreshingly subversive comedy about some amusingly antiheroic young women.
THE MOVIE: The Bling Ring
THE DIRECTOR: Oscar-winning writer-director Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides)
THE CAST: Emma Watson (Harry Potter series, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Leslie Mann (This Is 40), Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story), Israel Broussard (Flipped) and newcomer Katie Chang.
THE STORY: The Bling Ring is loosely based on the true story of a group of Los Angeles teenagers who made international headlines after breaking into the homes and stealing from such celebrities as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom.
WHY YOU SHOULD SEE IT: Sofia Coppola has easily made her most entertaining film since 2004’s Oscar-winning Lost in Translation with this bitingly hilarious satire of American youth and its obsession with celebrity, fashion and Facebook. Embodying these obsessions is striking newcomer Katie Chang, who makes her film debut as "bling" ringleader Rebecca, while relative veteran Emma Watson earns big laughs as Rebecca’s vapid and narcissistic friend Nicki. The film also features the final work of the late, great cinematographer Harris Savides (Milk, Zodiac), who beautifully captures the characters’ sun-soaked days and crime-filled nights in contemporary Los Angeles.
THE BUZZ: The Bling Ring debuted at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it received solid reviews from critics, including Jon Frosch of The Atlantic, who said, “The Bling Ring is filled with snappy dialogue… and gorgeously choreographed sequences of night-club bacchanals, shopping sprees, and, of course, the burglaries.” Scott Foundas of Variety praised Coppola’s work with her young cast. “Always adept at directing young performers, Coppola encourages fine work here from her cast of mostly newcomers, with Watson taking special relish in shedding her goody-two-shoes Harry Potter persona.” But the ultimate test of the The Bling Ring’s worth may be up to the young generation it’s amusingly skewering. Whether they love it or not, they’ll be sure to let us know via Tweet or Facebook update!
IF YOU’RE A FAN OF: If you loved the uniquely poetic approach to filmmaking Coppola took with Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette and The Virgin Suicides, you’ll be sure to enjoy her similar technique here. That said, The Bling Ring’s pacing is far faster than her previous films and its numerous sequences of breaking and entering should satisfy fans of the Ocean’s 11 series, The Italian Job, Snatch and other caper comedies with an edge.
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