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Stream of the Day: Sofia Coppola’s ‘Bling Ring’ Knows What It’s Like to Feel Disconnected

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Sofia Coppola’s satirical crime comedy is now streaming on Netflix and remains an overlooked triumph for the director.

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With readers turning to their home viewing options more than ever, this daily feature provides one new movie each day worth checking out on a major streaming platform. 

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The most iconic moment of Sofia Coppola’s 2013 satirical comedy “The Bling Ring” arrives at the 27-minute mark. Nicki Moore (Emma Watson) is smoking a joint in a friend’s room while trying on designer clothing. She has recently learned that her friends Rebecca (Katie Chang) and Marc (Israel Broussard) have broken into Paris Hilton’s home and stolen shoes and handbags. Nicki, chronically impatient and desperate for attention, turns to her friends and says, “I wanna rob.” Watson’s delivery has all the lackadaisical ignorance of a five-year-old asking for too many sweets. Here’s a teenage girl so obsessed with the rich and famous that she’s oblivious to the illegal implications of what she’s saying. It’s one of the great line readings of the last decade and the perfect microcosm of Coppola’s study of teenage disconnection.

“The Bling Ring,” now streaming on Netflix, world premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival to mixed reviews. Coppola’s script was an adaptation of a flashy Vanity Fair article about a group of teenagers who robbed the homes of Hollywood celebrities. The source material, plus the involvement of up-and-comer A24 (fresh off the hypnotic debauchery of “Spring Breakers”), suggested “The Bling Ring” might be a sensationalistic dive into fame-obsessed youth — Coppola’s 21st century “Marie Antoinette.” But that’s not the movie she delivered. “The Bling Ring” feels oddly calm and dispassionate during its 90 minute running time, as if Coppola made a crime movie but removed the energy and tension. The film Coppola made isn’t fun or exciting; it’s cold and detached and it fundamentally understands what it feels like to be a disconnected teenager.

Disconnection runs rampant through “The Bling Ring,” so much so that even the eponymous gang doesn’t actually appear to be friends. The vapid Rebecca befriends Marc because he’s new in school and will go along with her illegal schemes just to fit in. Marc is disconnected from himself, a gay teenager who is closeted to his parents but can be himself in Rebecca’s pseudo-glam world. Party girl Chloe (Claire Julien) is only around because she knows a promoter who can get everyone into nightclubs populated by Paris Hilton. Nicki is a cellphone-attached zombie who only comes alive when she can occupy the far outskirts of Hollywood celebrity life. She’s so disconnected that the outskirts feel like the epicenter.

"The Bling Ring"

“The Bling Ring”

A24

Coppola matches the disconnect among her protagonists in her visual approach, which forces a distance between the viewer and the characters. To watch “The Bling Ring” is to be removed from the subjectivity of its teenagers. Working with cinematographer Harris Savides, Coppola often holds the camera from afar and without movement, a filmmaking choice that makes “The Bling Ring” an observational watch and not an experiential one. Coppola blocks an emotional connection from forming between the viewer and her characters, which robs even the film’s most eventful moments from feeling essential.

Take Marc’s first criminal act with Rebecca, a nighttime crusade outside of a high school party in which the two steal money from unlocked cars. The scene feels painstaking in its normalization of what is surely an anxiety-inducing event for Marc. The camera follows the teens without much of a pulse and Coppola relies on diegetic sounds over a score to keep the energy flat. Coppola’s car crime feels as mundane as teenagers walking to school. It’s a risky choice on Coppola’s part, as her visual sense could bore those viewers looking for a rush, but it’s a skillful one in cutting to the core of her characters’ emptiness. The unsettling reality of “The Bling Ring” is how these teens aren’t excited by their actions. They remain soulless through their criminal endeavors, and that’s a tone intensified by Coppola’s visual sense.

Perhaps the most memorable shot in “The Bling Ring” is the long take that captures the teenagers breaking into the home of “The Hills” star Audrina Patridge. Coppola films the robbery through an establishing shot of Patridge’s home. The camera never cuts into the home to follow the action. A slow push creeps toward the home as the everyday sounds of a Los Angeles evening grow louder. The home resembles a dollhouse, the characters small figurines. It’s perhaps the most least involving robbery scene in cinema, but Coppola isn’t here to glorify or empathize the rush of being a teenage criminal. Her lens becomes a critical window to witness the disconnection of her characters.

Coppola ends her film by beating her theme on the nose. Nicki is being interviewed by a reporter and stresses that she wants to be a humanitarian following her arrest for robbery. “There’s a little bit of a disconnect between your positive pursuits and what’s happening now,” the reporter says, calling Nicki out. Following her jail sentence, Nicki is seen in a video interview talking about life in the same jail as Lindsey Lohan. The film cuts to black after Nicki looks at the camera and advertises her new celebrity blog. The character has learned nothing, but Coppola surely has.

“The Bling Ring” is now streaming on Netflix.

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Jennifer Aniston and Jimmy Kimmel Surprise Nurse Who Contracted COVID-19 With $10,000 Gift

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The ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ host also shared that the delivery service was giving gift cards to all of the nurses that work on Kimball Fairbanks’ floor at her Utah-based hospital.

Jennifer Aniston and Jimmy Kimmel teamed up to help a nurse that tested positive for COVID-19 during Thursday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The segment opened with Kimmel talking to Kimball Fairbanks, a cardiovascular nurse from St. George, Utah, about her experience with the coronavirus.

Fairbanks explained that she tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. In response to the diagnosis, she was furloughed from work and must self-isolate for two weeks.

She admitted that she wasn’t sure how she contracted the virus, but likely got it while at work.

“I kind of felt like I got hit by a train, but I think I just have really mild symptoms,” she said, noting that it felt like she had a head cold combined with the flu. Fairbanks added that her symptoms feel “decently manageable.”

Kimmel said that he wanted to cheer her up and brought Aniston into the video chat. “I just have to say God bless you and all of you that are out there, doing what you’re doing,” Aniston told Fairbanks. “I don’t even know how to express my gratitude to everything that you guys are doing and putting your health at risk and all of that. You’re just phenomenal.”

Fairbanks later told Aniston and Kimmel that she has not been able to cook while distancing herself from her family, so she has been relying on delivery services to provide her food.

“That’s good cause you know what Jimmy cooked up?” said Aniston. “You’re gonna be getting a $10,000 gift certificate from Postmates.”

Fairbanks was initially speechless and Kimmel joked, “But you have to use it all in one shot.” The host also shared that Postmates was giving gift cards to all of the nurses that work on her floor at the hospital.

“Oh behalf of all of us, I think Jen said it very well, we are very, very grateful to what you and all these health care workers are doing,” said Kimmel. “It’s so far above and beyond. It really is unbelievable.”

Aniston later told Kimmel how she herself is handling being quarantined.

After noting that she hasn’t left her house in three weeks, the actress revealed that she doesn’t mind being stuck at home. “I’m an agoraphobe,” she said. “It’s a nightmare, but me personally, it’s not been that much of a challenge.”

She said that the “most challenging thing is watching news,” though she limits catching up on current events to once in the morning and again in the evening.

Aniston is passing the time by cleaning and organizing. She revealed that she found “a couple treasures” while cleaning, including a Betamax of her first audition for the soap opera Search for Tomorrow when she was 13 years old. Her father, John Aniston, starred on the show.

“I’m dying to see it, but I was 13 years old and I thought I lost it forever, but I was sort of just cleaning out tons of old boxes,” she said. Aniston then shared her plans to get the Betamax transferred so that she can watch it.

The part ultimately went to Jane Krakowski. “The character’s name was TR and she was a 13-year-old runaway and I had been visiting my dad at the set — it was shot in New York back then,” she explained. “On the bulletin board it was an audition for TR, a 13-year-old runaway, and I was like, ‘That’s me.'”

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Despite Aniston’s confidence that she was meant to play the part, her father did not want her to be on the show. “I actually went around his back and I called his agent,” she recalled. “I know how to make things happen.”

“Then I auditioned. I thought I did great. I was sure that I was gonna get it. And I was also like, ‘My dad’s on the show,'” said the actress.

Aniston said that another treasure she found while cleaning was a film reel of her parents on The Newlywed Game. “That is a jewel for me,” she said, noting that they won. She added that their victory “doesn’t make marriage last.”

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Kim and Kourtney Kardashian come to blows in full “reality”

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The followers of the family Kardashian already aware of the friction between the sisters Kim and Kourtney. This time, however, a discussion came too far. In an episode of his reality, Keeping Up With the Kardashiansboth were involved in a discussions that were climbing up to come to blows.

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The relationship between the Kardashians started to deteriorate some months ago, when Kourtney decided to leave the reality that takes 18 seasons, but as the wife of Kanye West did not like anything. For that reason, Kourtney, who now says that he wants to dedicate himself to his family life, and Kim, who wants to continue with the program, staged one of the most critical periods since the beginning of the program.

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In the uncomfortable scene in the united States was last night in your program, the sisters, in the presence of Kendall and Khloé, they start pushing and end to the strikes.

“Do you think that I want to be in this negative environment all the days of my life?”, he told Kourtney all her sisters. “It’s torture”.

After the discussion, Khloé was very surprised with what happened. “Kim and I are really anodadas for how things escalated so fast. We don’t know where it comes from all of this. We know that there has been friction recently, but I don’t think any of us know that it was so strong. It is truly amazing that you have gone so far,” he said.

After you get to know the images of the fight, Kourtney Kardashian released a press statement where he sought to make it clear that they will no longer be part of the reality. “It is hard for me to see these first two episodes, but it is in these darkest moments where it reaches the overcoming. I finally had the courage to change what no longer was bringing me happiness and put my time and energy on what is. So choose happiness!”, he wrote in his account of Instagram.

For his part, Kim was invited to the program virtual of Jimmy Fallon, and explained that the level of violence surprised everyone, especially his mother Kris Jenner. He explained that what sparked the anger was the lack of clarity of his sister, who had not expressed his decision to leave and was on the set of reluctantly.

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Josh Horowitz Launches Digital Interview Series ‘Stir Crazy’ (Exclusive)

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The first episode features Will Arnett, with upcoming guests including Ricky Gervais, Ed Helms, Dan Levy and Ben Schwartz.

Inspired by this unusual time of social distancing and home isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic, Josh Horowitz is launching a digital interview series aptly titled Stir Crazy.

The show will offer lively and humorous chats between Horowitz — who is holed up in his New York apartment — and various entertainers who join him via a remote video connection. Will Arnett kicks off the series as the first guest.

Upcoming stars include Dan Levy, Josh Hutcherson, Ed Helms, Ricky Gervais and Ben Schwartz. To keep his guests from going stir crazy, Horowitz will utilize games like Charades and I Spy. 

Known for his work as an MTV News correspondent, Horowitz also runs the Happy Sad Confused podcast and hosts scripted sketch comedy series After Hours on Comedy Central.

Amid his own quarantine, Horowitz has been vocal on social media about his experience at home, sometimes giving comedic anecdotes. “Quarantine Josh eats grilled cheese. Otherwise I’m pretty much the same,” he tweeted Friday. On other occasions, he has asked his followers to list their favorite comfort movie and to pick the best of two rom-com film options, such as Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail

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Stir Crazy launches Friday at 1 p.m. PT on Comedy Central’s YouTube and Facebook pages. New episodes will post twice weekly Tuesday and Thursday. 

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