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Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” Opens Un Certain Regard in Cannes’ Year of the Woman?

We doubt that it’ll be as populated as Sundance was, but if this year’s Cannes Film Festival should be remembered for anything, it will surely be noted as one of the most female friendly lineups in years, surpassing even that glorious 2009 program. Since that year, however, a female presence has been largely absent, particularly from the main competition. Announced almost to prophesize this year’s lineup was the earlier briefing that director Jane Campion, who will be serving as president of this year’s Cinefondation and the short film jury at the festival, will also be awarded the Carrosse d’Or, to be presented during the opening ceremony of the 45th Directors’ Fortnight. Campion is still the only woman to win the coveted Palme D’or (The Piano, 1993), and the third to claim the Carrosse d’Or since 2002 (Agnes Varda was the first to receive it back in 2010).

Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring has been announced today as the opener for the Un Certain Regard, but a trio of heavy hitters in the Main Competition may have better odds at another female director joining the ranks of Campion. Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, and perennial auteurs Claire Denis (The Bastards), and Catherine Breillat (Abuse of Weakness, starring two time Best Actress winner Isabelle Huppert) are all vying for the title, and time will soon tell what this year’s Steven Spielberg led jury ultimately chooses.

A24 folks launched some pre The Bling Ring “bling” in terms of a teaser poster last week. Here’s the festival’s press release:

Inspired by a true story, The Bling Ring recounts a group of adolescents who are fascinated by “beautiful people” and the world of brands, tracking the whereabouts and activities of celebrities online so that they can rob their homes. They steal over three million dollars of luxury items: jewellery, clothing, shoes, etc. Among their victims are Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom and Rachel Bilson. The media nicknamed this gang the “Bling Ring”.

An American director, actress, producer and screenwriter, Sofia Coppola lives in Paris. Her first films Lick The Star (1996), Virgin Suicides (1999) and Lost in Translation (2003), were very well received by critics and audiences, who recognized the authentic character of an auteur from her very first works. In 2005 she received the César for best foreign film for Lost in translation, which had already won an Oscar for best original script.

Sofia Coppola said, “I am happy to come back to the Festival de Cannes. Marie-Antoinette was in competition in 2006, I presented my first film Virgin Suicides at the Directors’ Fortnight and I am very proud now to open Un Certain Regard with my new film that will be screened for the first time before an audience. I can’t wait to be there…”

The Bling Ring will open in cinemas in France and around the world in June 2013.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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