Thursday, June 27, 2013

Is Emma Watson's Character in The Bling Ring the New Suzanne Stone?

Emma Stone (left) portrays ring leader Alexis Neiers (right) in Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring (2013)
So much has gone down in the past few days people. Wendy Davis stood in hot pink sneakers in a sea of Republican Texans without pee-breaks or trips to the vending machine for 13 hours to run out the clock so that most abortion clinics in the greater Texas area wouldn't be shut down. The supreme court overturned Prop 8 in California as well as ruled DOMA unconstitutional (while also overturning the Voting Acts Right) that last part being something people have totally seemed to ignore, but still huge strides made for freedom of sexuality and freedom of individual liberty. Meanwhile, Paula Deen is still a huge racist, and Kim Kardashian had Kanye's baby way too early, but not like dangerously early, and gave it literally the dumbest celebrity name, which is totally expected. So my brain is going through a lot of duress right now.
So let's talk about other stuff...all this news is overwhelming and I need a break. I've been watching previews for The Bling Ring (2013) and pre-ordered it on iTunes. It will be the first Sofia Coppola experience I had since I nearly shot myself after watching Marie Antoinette (2005) so obviously I'm hesitant. I've made sure I have a watching partner and the house is cleared of all poisonous and sharp objects. So I should be fine, but let's draw some kind of comparison, just for the fuck of it.
In the trailer there's a very interesting moment that I kept thinking of. Emma Watson plays the Alexis Neiers-based character we all know as the ring leader behind the infamous Hollywood Hills burglaries which shocked...absolutely no one and why the fuck did anyone care that Paris Hilton was now missing three pairs of Chanel sunglasses? I do believe there are still children starving in Sudan but whatever you want to make a film about Sofia is fine by me. Then it hit me, Sofia has always been somewhat of a failed satirist, and perhaps this will be her redemption.

both women love to watch themselves.
I couldn't stop thinking about another pitch perfect satire about a woman who strives to be famous by being infamous, clawing her way up a ladder and leaving others hurt and disturbed along the way; Suzanne Stone the ruthless murderess of Gus Van Sant's brilliant black comedy To Die For (1995). The character is played perfectly by a pre-botoxed Nicole Kidman, and there's a great scene when she's about to basically get away with concpiracy to commit murder and says to hoareds of press who surround her (just what she wants) that 'life, liberty....and all the rest of it still stand for something'. For some reason this immediately popped into my head when in the trailer we see Emma Watson as Nicki swarmed by a similar hoard of photographers desperately speaking into every microphone hiding her actual pleasure with the whole situation by huge Nicole Ritchie-type sunglasses that she's 'a huge believer in karma, and this is a learning experience for her' after which she takes a pause to think of something at least remotely sincere and ends it with 'I want to lead a country one day...for all I know'. The statement seems as misguided as Stone's but harkens that though acquitted in the actual courts, in the court of public opinion, these two broads are screwed because they wanted superficial things (namely fame of any sort, no matter how long the 15 minutes would last) and did really despicable and cruel things to achieve it, not understanding in the end that in their moment of redemption at least to the people that they had fought so hard to get on their side, they totally screwed it up because all in all, they are pretty soulless individuals. 
Both are extremely aware of their own sexual power.
Now, I am not comparing Gus Ban Sant to Sofia Coppola, I mean I haven't seen any pigs fly through my window, nor any of the horesmen of the apocalypse so that will not happen not now and not ever. But in terms of satire, I think if Sofia was directing Watson towards any extension of Alexis Neiers it was probably to play her as one of the greatest bitches in film history, or at least of the 90's and that of satire itself, and that is Suzanne Stone (Nicole Kidman). That is, if she's any kind of smart, and that's a reach. But let's hope that we see some more of Van Sant's themes in Coppola's teenage epic. It could work to her benefit, or land her right on her ass. Just like the rest of her films.

Trailers for both films below. 

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