On a drizzly May afternoon in Cannes, France, Sofia Coppola is curled up in a chair in the lounge of a huge hotel.
The night before, she attended the Cannes Film Festival premiere of her new film, "The Bling Ring" where Paris Hilton had shown up with "Bling Ring" star Emma Watson.
"I was excited that she came and that she liked the movie," Coppola said.
The blond socialite was actually something of a technical adviser for Coppola on "The Bling Ring," and even offered up her own house for filming. The movie dramatizes the story of a group of Los Angeles-area teenagers who in 2009 burgled celebrities' houses after ascertaining from Internet gossip sites that the residents weren't home - ultimately lifting around $3 million in jewelry, clothes and personal items. One of their victims was Hilton, whose home in "The Bling Ring" is revealed to be a cross between an enormous walk-in closet and an altar to All Things Paris.
After such mood pieces as "The Virgin Suicides," "Lost in Translation," "Marie Antoinette" and "Somewhere," "The Bling Ring" feels like a departure for Coppola, who throughout her career has steadfastly resisted the tyranny of narrative, instead creating lush, impressionistic odes to atmosphere and emotion. With its ripped-from-the-headlines topicality and crime-and-punishment arc, "The Bling Ring" is far more conventional, even if Coppola approaches the material with her signature love of visual beauty and detailed production design.