Reel Shorts | Factory Girl

7 02 2007

“Factory Girl” stars Sienna Miller, Guy Pierce and Hayden Christensen. Miller moves centerstage in her first starring role as debutante Edie Sedgwick.

It’s 1965 New York and Sedgwick meets celebrated artist Andy Warhol (Pierce). Instantly smitten with Sedgwick, Warhol bonds with the beautiful woman and thrust her into his bizarre, pornographic inner circle. Sedgwick’s family comes from old money and initially she is the darling of the Gotham fashion world, wining and dining her newfound friends while reveling in plenty of free love, sex, drugs and lots of groovy, psychedelic sounds at Warhol’s factory. Sedgwick is having the time of her life until she meets a Bob Dylan-esque “folk singer” (Christensen, who looks an AWFUL LOT like Bob Dylan; I’m just saying!). The two men who are polar opposites in every way, both vie for Sedgwick’s affection.

He warns her that Warhol treats her as a prop and that she should be furious with him. When Sedgwick loudly proclaims, “I can’t be mad with him,” the Dylan-esque character tells her sadly, “You’re afraid to lose everything that doesn’t mean anything.” Under pressure to make a choice, she makes the wrong one and unfortunately lives to regret it. When her parents’ object to her friends and life style, she is cut off only to find that her “friends” (including Warhol) used her and when she suddenly was out of style, simply discarded her.

In no time flat Sedgwick, who has developed a speed and heroin addiction, is degrading herself and out on the street. The celebrated 1960’s personality tragically predicted that she would not see her 30th birthday and she was correct, dying of a drug overdose when she was 28. The film does not cast Warhol in a positive light and Pierce’s quirky performance helps cement that point.

Miller radiates on screen as Sedgwick, with a virtuoso performance that surely would have merited Oscar buzz if the film had been released last year. Both Hayden and former SNL alum, Jimmy Fallon, who acquits himself in a rare dramatic turn, also registered positive supporting performances.

Grade: B-

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