Despite technology’s omnipresence in contemporary society the Internet is usually depicted in films as merely a gimmick. However, in Sophia Coppola’s The Bling Ring (based on the infamous real burglaries of star’s homes in Hollywood), the web is a nefarious presence in the lives of teenagers. In the absence of parental guidance or education Facebook and Google inflate their desires, willing them to do whatever they want.
While utterly compelling The Bling Ring is as voiceless as its dissociated characters. Humorous moments become sad and ironic, for instance Leslie Mann’s sardonic portrayal of Nicki (Emma Watson) & Sam’s (Taissa Farmiga) new-age Mum.
Coppola has remarked that she wanted to avoid glamourising these young people and this is perhaps to the film’s detriment. You can’t help but watch with pity and a stinging sense of shame. (NH)