Published Mar 13, 2007Andy Warhol was unquestionably a fascinating character few would argue this, no matter how they feel about his work. But for some reason filmmakers keep making the wrong choices when it comes to biopics involving the pop artist. Factory Girl follows indie films like I Shot Andy Warhol and yes, even the exquisite Basquiat in telling the stories of the lesser characters that surrounded the silver quaffed eccentric.
This time around the subject is Edie Sedgwick (portrayed by Sienna Miller), the debutante party girl who lived a troubled life amongst the hangers on in Warhols Factory during the free-wheeling 60s. Hickenlooper paints a portrait of the model/actresss hopes and dreams to become a "superstar, which quickly succumbed to a downward spiral once befriending Warhol. Miller, a pristine, silver screen "it girl, is finally given her opportunity to rise above the tabloids and prove herself.
Unfortunately, despite looking the part, capturing the naiveté Sedgwick was so clearly plagued by is a task too big for the relative newcomer. And because this character has as about as much depth as the average rain puddle, Miller fails to rise to the occasion and give us any reason to care about this waif. Of course, its not entirely her fault: Sedgwick was clearly a shallow, spoilt rich girl who wasted her looks and ambition on drugs, which isnt exactly the charity case an audience looks to dote on. Additionally, Guy Pearces Warhol doesnt quite top the impersonation Jared Harris mastered in I Shot Andy Warhol, but considering his physical dissimilarities, he pulls it off by utilising the right amount of superficial oddity in his mannerisms.
Easily the biggest flaw of the film though is the script by Captain Mauzner; it fails to present any real meaning to Sedgwicks life, or give us anything more than a hollow, frivolous look at a highly stylised era. And the fact that he squeezes in Hayden Christensen as a Bob Dylan-like figure to whisk Sedgwick away not only defies history but also destroys any credibility this film sought as a "legitimate biopic.
In the end, Factory Girl is a wasted, falsified depiction that eschews telling a captivating story, and even worse, doesnt tell the story people would rather witness the one of Andys life.