24 June 2013 | naregian
Classic case of weak directing ruining a potentially strong story.
Remember back when you were in school and you had to write a 15 page paper? Remember how you'd finish organizing and writing all your information only to see you've written just 11 pages. Remember how you would go back and just kinda fluff the paper and put in some fluff words and sentences that are super redundant?
That is what this film is. 15 pages = The 90 minute runtime, and 11 pages = The 15 or 20 minutes that this film could have been condensed into.
Now, I am a fan of Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides, and even her less popular work like Marie Antoinette. But her use of artsy and dull shots that linger...and linger...and linger in this film just didn't work. This film had a great premise, and when I first heard that a film was being made about the "Bling Ring", I was very excited to see how they would be portrayed.
All we saw was some fame obsessed teens doing cocaine and smoking weed while inside of big houses, all the while stealing money and clothes. Occasionally they went out and bought more clothes with the money they stole. There wasn't even any cinematic techniques involving sophistication, or generation of interest. There was really almost no climax, and the film was somewhat like a simple narrative of whats happening, with no REAL story involved. Yes, I know this was based on real life, but I'm sure Miss Coppola could have written in some more juicy scenes that would create interest and grip the audience. I do understand her style and what she did, but that slow pace and the lingering visuals just didn't fit the given subject matter because a film with this premise could have been very upbeat and intense, yet it was drawn out just too much.
It seems as if Sofia Coppola was relying on the skimpy outfits and attractive faces of Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga and Claire Julien to generate a male audience, while using the "famous lifestyle" for the girls who can almost relate to the characters on screen who, after all, are backed by real people. I, a male, wasn't attracted by either, but by the fact that I was very interested to see whether or not the occurrences were going to be portrayed in a positive or negative light, and I was disappointed to see that it was basically neutral!
The way the annoying, fame obsessed, teenagers were portrayed in this film was somewhat weak, only because the actors were given one of the weakest scripts I had ever seen! I thoroughly understand that Miss Coppola was trying to portray the annoying teenage dialog of our day, but really? Reeeaaaalllly? The actors are not to blame, as the dialog was just stiffly written and impossible to make seem natural.
Emma Watson, I think, did a great job with her portrayal of the real life Nicki who is actually named Alexis Neiers. If you watch some of her interviews and see the way she really talks and how stupid she really seems, you'll know that Emma didn't do anything over-the-top, or any overly annoying acting. Also, Taissa Farmiga stood out as the strongest actress in the group, although her screen time was cut a bit short. I hope she follows in her sister's footsteps with more and more roles.
Overall, not a good one for Sofia Coppola.
5/10, and the one thing that saved it from a 4 was the fact that Emma Watson is gorgeous.