A review of “Factory Girl” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: **

Rating: R for nudity, language and drug use

Run Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

 

 

Sienna Miller lights up an otherwise mediocre recounting of the meteoric rise and fall of Andy Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick.

Sedgwick went from nobody to superstar in a heartbeat; an icon of American Pop Culture and the darling of the underground film scene that Warhol perpetuated with a fierce intensity.

From the moment he lays eyes on Edie Sedgwick (Miller) at a bohemian free-for-all Warhol (a creepy Guy Pearce) knows that he wants her in his orbit, an integral part of his revolutionary culture that’s rife with sex, drugs and avant-garde style.

For her part Sedgwick loves the limelight, which tames the internal beasts of her brother’s tragic suicide and her aristocratic father’s sexual advances. Sedgwick pours ample amounts of daddy’s money into Warhol’s Factory projects and turns starlet and sky-rocketing media darling.

At the top of her game Edie makes nice with a popular Bob Dylan-esque folk star (Hayden Christensen, simply billed as the “Musician”) who actively dislikes Warhol and his posse of rag-tag weirdoes. Her budding relationship with the Musician puts Warhol in a snit; torn between two lovers she’s ultimately rejected by both. The painful slight awakens her demons and sends Sedgwick into a hellish crash and burn of intoxicated insanity.

Miller does a yeoman’s job of portraying Sedgwick the way she must have been – sassy and spirited yet sorely vulnerable. She looks and acts every inch the part; cutting-edge chic tainted by a damaged psyche. Yet even Miller’s fresh approach can’t overcome the alternately glacial and frenetic pacing and bargain-basement dialogue.

Pearce is downright bizarre as Warhol but gets its right while Christensen incomprehensibly mumbles his way through a part that was scrutinized and ostensibly edited by Dylan’s lawsuit-happy lawyers.

Period clothes are a dazzling homage to the ‘60s but can’t salvage this poor-little-rich-girl tale from its cheap provocations.