The Bling Ring: The Hollywood Portrayal

The Bling Ring

A Guest Post by Carly Ledbetter.

When it comes to movies that are "based on real events," simply put, the facts sometimes get twisted around for the movie. But, in the case of The Bling Ring, the story is about as real as it gets. Sofia Coppola's new film, The Bling Ring, is based on the Vanity Fair article, "The Suspects Wore Louboutins" by Nancy Jo Sales. The article itself is centered on real-life events that happened in 2008 and 2009 in Los Angeles, when a group of celebrity-obsessed teenagers began robbing celebrity homes.

Lifetime made a television movie of the same name in 2011 – but this is the first big-time retelling of the story. So, how did Sofia Coppola's version do compared to the real story or the Vanity Fair article? Check out some details from the real events and the movie to see!

The Real Story:
In the fall of 2008, Rachel Lee and Nick Prugo, both teens living in Los Angeles, allegedly began robbing homes of celebrities. Their victims included Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, Audrina Patridge and Orlando Bloom, among others.

The Bling Ring

As the robbing continued into 2009, more friends joined Rachel and Nick on their "shopping sprees" inside celebrity homes. Alexis Neiers, Diana Tamayo and Courtney Ames were also a part of the burglaries. Johnny Ajar and Roy Lopez, Jr. both attempted to resell some of the stolen belongings and Roy may have been present for a burglary of Paris Hilton's home.

Sofia Coppola's Version:
The movie has succeeded in many ways. It's closely tied to the alleged real life events and the article by Nancy Jo Sales, plus interviews from Nick Prugo and Alexis Neiers. The character names have been changed for the movie – Rachel became Rebecca, Nick became Marc, Alexis became Nicki – but the reality is still there.

The settings in The Bling Ring were spot on. Robbery victim Paris Hilton even allowed director Sofia Coppola and crew to use her home for the filming of the movies. The real-life Bling Ring crew robbed her home five times over the course of a few months, stealing purses, clothes, shoes and jewelry.

The Bling Ring

Some of the most ridiculous scenes in the movie are even word-for-word quotes from the (failed) E! reality show Pretty Wild that starred Alexis Neiers and her family. It's both hilarious and surprising to see some of the scenes you see reenacted in the movie that actually happened. 

Other quotes from the movie, like Emma Watson's character Nicki talking with reporters, were actually said by Alexis in interviews with Nancy Jo Sales. 

To prepare to play these characters, the cast spent plenty of time together before filming to become the tight knit group we see in the movie. They even pretended to rob homes to get in the mindset of the teens they were portraying. Emma has said that she watched Pretty Wild in order to become her character Nicki. 

The Bling Ring

The Verdict:
So, how does The Bling Ring stack up to other movies based on real events? It's one of the best. 

From having Alexis as a consultant on the movie to using real quotes to filming at Paris Hilton's home where robberies actually took place, The Bling Ring matches up with real events as closely as possible. The movie is a fair portrayal and it's crazy to think that these events happened.  The Bling Ring is definitely worth a watch. Check it out and see how the real life events went down.

4 out of 5 stars

About The Author:
Carly Ledbetter is a copywriter by day and a struggling creative writer by night. She is a recent graduate of Elon University, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. You can read about some of her adventures studying abroad in London by checking out Bonking Norah at Carly didn't understand that 'bonking' was slang for something dirty, and hopefully you don't get it either.

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  1. Good review Carly. Definitely has something to say about this generation, but feels almost too lazy to really "say" anything at all. Just sort of goes on it's own way, in a repetitive, meandering fashion.

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  3. Check out my review too, bro!,

    A brilliant concept. Boring Excecution. I forgot who said this, but that's very well said. Not that memorable and definitely forgettable movie. But still, seeing the slutty side of Emma Watson is something that i'll consider in watching it for the second times :)