The Bling Ring

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“Because we are all the Bling Ring. We are Alexis Neiers, as scary as that is, we are.”

Nancy Jo Sales, writer and journalist, whose article in Vanity Fair, The Suspect Wore Louboutins was the basis of director Sofia Coppola’s new movie, The Bling Ring. 

The movie is based upon real life events, two teens, namely Rachel Lee and Nick Prugo, robbed Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom and Lindsay Lohan’s houses, in October 2008. “The Bling Ring” as the group of rich young teens would soon be coined by the media, reportedly stole over $3 million in cash and cars over the course of a year.

Coppola’s movie goes behind the facts and figures and sucks you in to the tiny bubble world, that is Hollywood. She has changed the names, but the story remains the same. The movie is full of common slangs which we are so used to today, “We’re in L.A. Don’t be such a little bitch!”, coupled with that, there is also a laziness to the Ring, the rich teen drawl is en pointe, and realistic, but can unfortunately become a little tiresome after ninety-five minutes.

Emma Watson stars as Nicki Moore, in her third role since the Potter Series ended in 2011. Nicki is insufferable, spoilt, unfeeling and gun toting. Watson proves she is no goody two shoes.

But, it is Katie Chang who plays Rebecca Ahn who steals the movie, quite literally. Her lack of response, lack of feeling and her friendship with Marc Hall (Israel Broussard) which takes this film from a cautionary tale about Capitalism, Celebrity and Temptation, in to a story of two very confused teenagers. Chang, lonely and bored, is drawn to stealing, at first just by checking her rich neighbours cars for money and jewellery, but which soon escaltes in to full on robbery. And Broussard, the new kid, who sees himself as ugly and who was never one of the “cool kids”. For me, it is their friendship which carries the film.

After a while, the movie becomes a challenge cinematically for Coppola, how many times can you show the same characters robbing Celebrities houses? She answers this question creatively and brilliantly, aerial shots, CCTV shots, long scenes where the characters argue over who gets the Louboutins. Reiterating the characters shallow values.  But with a weak ending to a generally informative and enjoyable film, Coppola certainly lives up to her family’s film credentials.

It is hard with true events to determine whether making a movie about it, or writing a book is supporting it, or warning us against it. The same can be said of The Bling Ring, is Coppola warning America that it’s Capitalist and Celebrity Dreams are nothing more than a Nightmare?

That’s for you to decide, biatch.

Naomi Jeffreys, The Rabbit and Reel.

The Bling Ring is out in the UK on Friday 5th July.

Christoph Waltz

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There’s a trend in films of directors getting the best from certain actors. Martin Scorsese had Robert De Niro, Tim Burton relishes working with Johnny Depp and Ben Affleck brings out the best in Ben Affleck. Most recently, Tarantino has found a new mouthpiece of choice in the wonderfully charismatic Christoph Waltz. The Austrian was barely known before 2009 and now, is the only actor to win an Oscar in a Tarantino film.

He owes a large part of his success, of course, to Tarantino. Waltz’s Col. Hans Landa stole every scene that he appears in Inglorious Basterds. His eerie calm, effortless mastery of linguistics and affluent charm all add to an air of seeming omnipotence. The part should be almost unplayable. Multiple languages, layer after layer of depth, the ability to charm while appearing sadistic, to calm you while at the same time inducing an anxious fear. Yet Waltz effortlessly gave us one of the most memorable villains Hollywood has produced.

Perhaps it is his lack of stereotypical eurovillain traits that we love him so. He isn’t the usual overplayed madness in the mould of Die Hard’s Hans Gruber, overacted to the point of parody. Waltz showed Landa as a person who didn’t think he was a villain, just a cog in a machine, doing its job. He wasn’t a megalomaniacal supervillain, just a detective.

And so to Django Unchained. He again delivered his lines with a musical flourish on them, bringing the English language to life like few others can, evoking sympathy and being a genuinely likable, merciless psychopath, with a liking for the theatric. There could be an argument for Django and Basterds being Tarantino’s best films. Perhaps this is a case, of the actor bringing out the best in the director?

James Waller

Sense

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Words by Naomi Jeffreys

Sense, is a process which we go through in order to make some order of the world we live in.

This is true to films, in the Twenty First century, it seems that directors, producers and writers, seem to have forgotten that audiences can think. That we want to make sense of the films they put in our cinemas.

Quite often, films have a neat ending, where the lovers get together, or the villain is captured. But isn’t it much for fun for the ends not to be tied up? That way, audiences can use their imagination, they can create their own ending.

It is a very ‘Hollywood’ trait to have a happy ending, as demonstrated in the Golden Era and many animated films. But, sometimes, we don’t want their to be a happy ending.

One director who doesn’t believe in neat endings is British born director, Christopher Nolan. His films include; ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’, ‘Inception’, ‘The Prestige’, ‘Memento’ and many more.

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‘Inception’ was a film which created a buzz, audiences were left wondering what happened at the end of the film. His ability to constantly ask questions, and his use of an unreliable narrator, along with a stellar cast, make for something fresh in Hollywood.

Sense – must we really make sense of films? I don’t believe we have to.

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