starring Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Taissa Farmiga, Leslie Mann
screenplay by Sofia Coppola, based on the VANITY FAIR article by Nancy Jo Sales
directed by Sofia Coppola
by Walter Chaw Doomed to be compared--unfavorably, I think--to Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring is better seen as another document of ennui and privilege and the different ways the same old dissatisfaction and yearning manifest in endlessly evolving, endlessly confounding ways, generation by generation. Appearing as they both do in the middle of a ceaseless recession with our leaders arguing, as they did in the late-1930s, about social programs that one side believed indispensable and the other recklessly overpriced, neither film is terribly different in structure and execution from The Wizard of Oz. Coppola, upon reflection, is the perfect artist for an updating of Dorothy's trip to the Emerald City--she is, after all, Dorothy. If you were to freeze-frame the film during its opening titles (scored brilliantly, discordantly, by the Sleigh Bells' "Crown on the Ground"), you'd note, as my editor Bill did on Twitter, that Coppola's own credit reads "Written and Directed by Rich Bitch Sofia Coppola." Self-awareness, self-deprecation, it's all of those things, but what it is most, I think, is a kind of acceptance: her own peace with her relationship with the two "acts" of her public life, the first indicated perhaps by her father not protecting her well enough as an actress, the second by her move to behind the camera as a director of quiet, trance-like pictures about little girls lost. If The Bling Ring is ultimately the least of Coppola's films, it gathers weight, develops context, taken as a whole with the others. Say what you will and count me deep in her camp, Coppola is every bit the auteur her father is--and it's his fault.