Posts Tagged ‘Andy Warhol’

Hidden Gem: Factory Girl

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Amazingly Factory Girl was savaged by the critics when it received a limited release in 2007 but what do they know. If you are a fan of the sixties then this movie is definitely worth a watch and still, in my humble opinion remaims Miller’s best on screen performance.

Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller) is a spoilt little rich girl who is running from the past that haunts her. In a bid to further her art career she heads for New York City.

Here she meets Andy Warhol (Guy Pearce), who craves fame and attention, and with the beautiful Edie on his arm he gets what he wants.

As the drug culture explodes Edie embraces it until she finds herself caught between two men Warhol and a musician (Hayden Christensen).

Abandoned by the musician and shunned by Warhol Edie’s life and drug habit spirals out of control.

Director George Hickenlooper has produced a beautifully moving film of the life of Edie Sedgwick who’ fifteen minutes of fame were cut tragically short after she overdosed at the age of twenty eight.

The film flicks between the colour of Hickenlooper’s movie intertwined with the black and white scenes shot by Guy Pearce’s Andy Warhol. This makes the film appear more like a documentary of the socialite’s life.

But the film’s real plus point is its powerful cast who all produce career defining performances.

Spoilt rich girl who is famed obsessed sounds right up Sienna Miller’s street and many may ask the question is she actually acting?
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However Miller plays Edie as a wide eyed, hopeful young woman who is deeply troubled by her past, with suggestions she was sexually abused by her father.

And the transformation from naïve hopeful to New York’s biggest diva and then an out of control, drug dependent individual surely cements Miller as more than just a support actress.

Guy Pearce is also superb as Andy Warhol as the chillingly self absorbed icon who viewed humans as mere commodities who could be enjoyed for their aesthetic purposes, used for what they had to offer before being disregarded and replaced.

Warhol was a man who wanted to appear one dimensional and Pearce captures his lake of emotion in two key scenes: when Edie’s father calls him a ‘fag’ and towards the end of the film when Edie screams at him in public for letting her down.

Hayden Christensen has the most interesting role. He is labelled in the credits as just ‘the musician’ but he is playing the role of Bob Dylan.

However the fact that the film implies that Dylan played a hand in Edie’s downfall angered the singer and due to legal pressures all references to him were moved from the film. So sadly this key relationship to Edie in the film is now not much more than a nameless cameo.

Christensen’s character provides sanctuary and safety for Edie from Warhol’s aggressive puppetering. Christensen gives a great performance as he slowly moves away from his Star Wars tag.

In all Factory Girl is a tragic story of a young girl who placed her trust in a man who used and betrayed her, playing a huge part in her downfall.

But the real strength of this movie is the superb casting with Sienna Miller and Hayden Christensen in particular producing career boosting performances.