The fifth film directed by Sofia Coppola surrounds the true life story of 5 privedged, fame obsessed teenagers who burgled the homes of Hollywood stars, stealing clothes, jewellery and other personal items to emulate their idols. It’s a kind of black comedy/crime drama, where the victims include Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom.
We follow the teens as they talk about celebrities, start their first attempts at breaking and entering and how a quick look on Google escalates into several break ins into Paris Hilton’s house. Fair play to Hilton for making a cameo and allowing Coppola and co to film in her actual house.
It can be hard to set a story around characters that you know aren’t going to be likeable-the closest we get is insecure, new kid Marc (Israel Broussard) who is desperate to belong. However the story itself is so interesting that this isn’t a problem. Coppola’s films tend to centre around lost girls (and boy in this case) and these teenagers are no exceptions. These characters base their own identities around celebrities, looking good and what can make them famous. Although I don’t have much sympathy for them it is sad that they think that this is all there is to life.
Coppola has assembled a great cast. Emma Watson plays Nikki, a self obsessed home schooled girl whose’s mother teaches lessons based on The Secret. Nikki is based on Alexis Neiers, and anyone who has seen Neiers in her reality show Pretty Wild on E! (no just me?) knows that Watson’s performance is spot on. Watson impresses with a role thats a world away from her Harry Potter days. With this kind of verssatility Watson is destined to go far. I even think Watson could be in with a best supporting actress nod.
The lesser known actors are also great, especually Katie Chang as the ringleader Rebecca and Broussard as the insecure Marc. The other actresses fade into the background a bit more but in group scenes the cast play well off each other.
Coppola seems to be growing in confidence with each film. There are some great sequences in the film, such as the break in to Audrina Patridge’s house, done in one wide scale shot as we seem them go through the entire house. It’s as if we are outside the house watching this happen (like one of these celebrity obsessed teens). The film successfully opens up debate about todays obsession with celebrity without blugoning us over the head with any message. Coppola just allows the story to speak for itself.
Rating 4/5-Sofia Coppola’s most accomplished film yet.