The Bling Ring

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Sofia Coppola does it again with another stylized youth character piece, this time a story based on true events,  The Bling Ring.

Katie Chang plays Rebecca, the “ring leader” of the group who after befriending the innocent new boy in school, Marc (played by Israel Broussard), discovers just how easy it is to find out the residential address of celebrities.   Rebecca and Marc set out to sneak into the celebrity homes, most of which are unlocked and unsecured making access to their valuables mighty easy.

Soon after Rebecca’s clan also wants to join in on the fun and their raid on the star’s homes start to become a regular outing for the teens.   Claire Julien plays the fiesty Chloe (who seemed to also have an air of Kristin Cavallari from ‘The Hills’) Emma Watson and Taissa Farmiga play sisters Nicki and Sam respectively.  Their roles were not quite as stand out as their counterparts.

As usual Coppola  excels with incorporating the most beautiful composition into her shots.   Not hard when your sets are made to look like the luxurious mansions in the Hollywood Hills, but Coppola’ attention to visual detail is always nothing short of impressive nonetheless.

Katie Chang was also another diamond in this film.  A great choice in casting.  Her unassuming demeanor gave Rebecca the likeability factor she needed as the lead protagonist performing antagonist duties.  Chang’s acting was also perfectly natural.  She obviously hasn’t yet been affected by the falseness and over-the-top dramatics of more seasoned actors.

While critic’s reviews were not overly kind to this picture, The Bling Ring definitely does provide a very entertaining insight into the wealth and ignorance of the ultra-rich and privileged… and that goes for both the teens involved as well as the celebs they robbed.

 

8/10

 

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Truth about Emanuel

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Truth about Emanuel is a captivating film centred around a 17 year old girl, Emanuel who lost her mother at child birth.

Emanuel lives with her loving father and new step mother, she is private kind of girl, in no way a teenage cliche.  Slowly her social barriers begin to break down as she connects with another young boy who she regularly meets on her bus route.

On the brink of her 18th birthday (a day which she hates as it constantly reminds her of her mother’s death), Emanuel meets her new neighbor Linda, a single mother who bares a striking resemblance to the mother that Emanuel had lost.  Soon after Linda and Emanuel bond and Emanuel starts to spend more and more time with her, first as her babysitter, soon Emanuel starts to view Linda as the mother figure she never had.

In the meantime Linda is trying to come to terms with her own loss and together, the characters help each other in their healing journeys.

 

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Wonderfully acted and nuanced all the way.

 

7.8/10

 

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