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The Bling Ring True Story


The sight of Paris Hilton’s jewellery protecting the floor of a plain, picket kitchen desk was staggering. Diamond bracelets. Bangles. Costly watches. Cocktail rings. Pearls. This was simply among the stuff the LAPD had recovered after they raided the houses of the kids and 20-somethings we might later come to know because the Bling Ring. It was 2009, and I used to be a 25-year-old correspondent for a cable TV community, crouched on the bottom in entrance of police headquarters, scribbling notes as Detective Brett Goodkin shared photos and descriptions of the loot with me and the three or 4 dozen different journalists assembled.

It wasn’t shocking to me when, fewer than 5 years later, I discovered myself watching the story unfold once more on the massive display screen in Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring.” The fascination was already at a fever pitch within the fall of 2009. The group was ultimately linked to break-ins on the houses of Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson, and Lindsay Lohan, to call a number of. TMZ was posting fixed updates, Vainness Truthful was investigating a giant, splashy story on the crimes, and the teenage burglar bunch was a daily subject of cocktail-party dialog in LA. It was easy to trace down the Bling Ring youngsters by way of social media within the early phases of the investigation, and — in all probability to his detriment — key suspect Nick Prugo had a used automotive salesman of an legal professional who was a fast and simple supply of data. Clearly it was questionable info, but it surely was one thing to go on, nonetheless. Detective Goodkin was talkative and fast to select up the cellphone. The truth is, his open-book strategy had him in scorching water; he was paid greater than $25,000 for consulting on the film and showing in a cameo position, as an officer who arrests Emma Watson’s character, with out asking for permission from his higher-ups.

For me, the Bling Ring story was an ideal Los Angeles story. Nevermind that these youngsters lived within the suburbs of Calabasas, simply an hour’s drive in site visitors from the Hollywood houses they robbed. They could as effectively have been from Boise, ID, like me. They have been complete outsiders who simply occurred to be in shut proximity.

Now, Netflix is popping the true-crime story right into a restricted collection titled “The Actual Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist.” In accordance with the present’s synopsis, “the docuseries exhibits what can occur when a fame-and-celebrity-obsessed tradition meets the rise of social media and spins wildly uncontrolled.” It should characteristic interviews with Alexis Haines (Neiers), Nick Norgo (Prugo), Andrea Arlington-Dunne, Gabrielle Hames, Audrina Patridge, and Perez Hilton, and is ready to premiere on Sept. 21.

Learn extra concerning the true story forward.

The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

When the Bling Ring struck, the recession was nonetheless in its most severe throes, and these youngsters dwelling on the periphery got down to take what was not theirs. It was unbelievably simple. They jumped fences, snuck in by way of unlocked doorways, or — within the case of Hilton — merely lifted up a doormat to discover a spare key helpfully lodged beneath.

There was one thing virtually anarchistic behind their assaults, however they did not appear offended about Hilton or Bloom or Lohan’s wealth, or appear to be they have been making an attempt to reclaim it for the frequent man; they simply wished to reside inside that form of life. Should you may put on Hilton’s costume, why could not you be her? In a world full of individuals well-known for being well-known, would not the trimmings themselves make you a celeb in your individual proper?

Coppola herself could not have grown up principally in LA or be a teen anymore, however as a teen who carefully adopted the Bling Ring case, her portrait of youth within the film felt genuine and proper. She forged principally unknown teenagers (Katie Chang and Israel Broussard amongst them) to fill the roles of the robbers, so whereas their performances typically felt barely stilted and self-conscious, these moments additionally served their roles as youngsters making an attempt to look extra subtle than they are surely.

The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist. Nicholas Prugo in The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

A few of the most frequent complaints lobbed at Coppola’s filmmaking should do with a scarcity of substance; “Marie Antoinette” and “Someplace” have been explicit targets for that critique. But when Coppola makes films which might be obsessive about veneer and tone, this story lent itself completely to that. It is tailored to her expertise for element, penchant for visible extra, and ease with letting issues past the floor hum with power, even when they by no means break by way of. For these youngsters, life was floor, existence was veneer, picture was actuality. In the event that they appeared the half, they might be the half. Coppola knew that, so she let the story unfold plainly, like so many diamond baubles laid out on a kitchen desk. It is as much as the viewers to really feel the anxiousness and ethical nagging that a lot of the characters merely do not.

I laughed within the opening scene of “The Bling Ring,” when Watson recites a speech ripped straight from the lips of one of many real-life burglars, Haines. “I am a agency believer in karma,” Watson drones as her character, Nikki, in a voice caked with Valley Woman vocal fry and melodrama. “And I believe this case was an enormous studying lesson for me, to develop and broaden as a religious human being. I wanna lead a rustic in the future, for all I do know.”

Regardless of the cartoonish-ness, this was an actual speech given by Haines — albeit not on the courthouse steps. However she gave loads of related statements there, too. I used to be among the many throng of reporters who dutifully captured her phrases on notepads and thru digicam lenses, stifling laughs, trying on in marvel on the lip-glossed 19-year-old in patent-leather heels in a miniskirt, surprised and, frankly, form of scared by her lack of self-awareness.

As I watched “The Bling Ring,” I questioned how unreal or exaggerated Watson’s monologue appeared to most moviegoers. However like the remainder of the unusual details concerning the Bling Ring’s story the film incorporates, that was just about precisely the way it unfolded.

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