One of the films I’m most looking forward to this summer is “The Bling Ring” — partly because I’m intrigued by the true-life story of teen burglars preying on celebrity homes in the Hollywood Hills, but mostly because Sofia Coppola is a filmmaker I’m still happy to follow anywhere.
I know a lot of viewers haven’t been on board with her since “Lost in Translation,” for which she won an Oscar almost 10 years ago, but I maintain that “Marie Antoinette” is a pretty rapturous remix of the historical biopic template, while the beguilingly low-key “Somewhere” was worthy of its much-questioned Golden Lion at Venice in 2010. Her privileged background and high-fashion aesthetic may make her an easy target, but she has yet to put a foot wrong in my book.
By the look of this fast, flashy, pleasingly oblique teaser for “The Bling Ring,” this isn’t going to get her back in the Academy’s good books, or win many converts to her style — but it’s clearly a more jumped-up effort than the woozy “Somewhere,” seemingly applying the youthful excess of “Marie Antoinette” to a contemporary LA context. This is the world she knows, and she’s clearly taken no heed of the critics who claimed she needed to stray from it after her last film. Good on her.
Emma Watson takes the role of the ringleader, as it were — and with this coming on the heels of an acclaimed turn in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” she appears to be edging ahead of Daniel Radcliffe in the contest for the most credible post-Potter career. Leslie Mann, fresh from “This is 40,” stars as Watson’s mother.
Below the line, meanwhile, it’s poignant to note that this is the last feature credit for the late, great cinematographer Harris Savides, who was also responsible for the gorgeous sheen of “Somewhere.” To complete his work on the film, Coppola his chosen wisely: “Meek’s Cutoff” DP Christopher Blauvelt has done the honors.
“Bling Rings” opens on June 14, and a week earlier than that in France — which suggests to be that a Cannes berth (Coppola’s first since the rocky reception for “Marie Antoinette” in 2006) is on the cards. Check out the teaser embedded above this post and tell us what you think.