It feels like ions since we last had an opportunity to chirrup knowingly about Sofia Coppola and her latest masterpiece to anyone that will listen, but the wait certainly seems to be worth it. The Bling Ring – what appears to be a glossy yet gritty crime drama starring British darling Emma Watson – will open at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with a wider release aimed for June 14th 2013.


Based on a series of actual events occurring in California in 2008 and 2009, the film uncovers the story of a group of materialistic teenagers known as The Bling Ring, which used the internet and social media to track its favourite celebrities and rob their homes while they were out. High profile targets for the ‘Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch’ (as they are also known) include Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and Paris Hilton, whose house was hit the most by the group. *Chuckles*


Since Coppola’s last project Somewhere – an ethereal, cinematographically-exquisite film exploring Hollywood’s landmark Chateau Marmont as the basis for an emotional journey between a father and his distanced daughter – fans have been squirming to see her iconic cinematic styling applied to a darker story. And this Gen Y Thelma-and-Louise-meets-90210 tale might be the perfect canvas. As Coppola noted, the film will “reveal a sobering view of our modern culture,” obsessed with celebrity and the plastic fantastic of fame.


In an effort to put her Harry Potter days firmly behind her, Emma Watson will be playing the role of Nicki, whose character was inspired by one of the gang’s ringleaders, Alexis Neier. Neier recently took to Twitter to denounce Coppola’s vision as “trashy and inaccurate”, suggesting we might be in for another glossy, who-gives-a-fuck experience similar to the one delivered by Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. Having previously backed Coppola on her blog, Neier seems disappointed that the trailer unfolded “just another party movie based on teens robbing celebrity homes.”

An opinion-divided atmosphere is often the best to release a film into and Coppola has managed to stir up a decent discussion ahead of The Bling Ring’s release. Considering the lead role of Rachel Lee (chief ringleader) went to a relatively unknown actress (Katie Chang), leaving Watson, one of only a few name-droppable actors in the shadows – we can expect a more sensitive, indie flick than its trailer suggests. Bring it on, Coppola.


Words by Lisa Payne


Alexis Neier, Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Lisa Payne, Rachel Lee, Sofia Coppola, The Bling Ring,