Factory Girl (15)
Time Out says
Tue Mar 13 2007It’s the classic story of the poor little rich girl who mixes with the wrong company and winds up another narcotics casualty. The particulars here are Bostonian heiress Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and his arty Factory set, followed by a barbiturates overdose. Bored already? It’s an overfamiliar trajectory, and there’s mixed success in bringing any new insights to it. Although the production manages a reasonably convincing facsimile of the silver-walled Factory milieu, where Sedgwick was the most glamorous ‘Superstar’ in Warhol’s shambling yet curiously hypnotic celluloid output, getting any genuine emotional purchase on these fabulous glittery creatures proves more of a challenge.
In the event, Sienna Miller’s trustingly naive Edie finds herself caught between Guy Pearce’s vampiric, ever-superficial Warhol and Hayden Christensen’s folk-rock prophet who sees through all that phoney stuff, yet the latter’s plank-like performance is so laughably wide of the mark (little wonder Bob Dylan threatened legal action to have the character’s identity obscured) it kills any remaining interest in the story. A shame for the rest of the cast, since Pearce’s remarkable portrait of Warhol, suggesting his wilful lack of engagement with the rest of humanity left him a damaged and lonely figure, belongs in a rather more effective context, while Miller’s gutsy investment in the title character is cumulatively touching to behold despite the high cliché count around her. Director George Hickenlooper remains best known for his Coppola doc, ‘Hearts of Darkness’, and one wonders whether the documentary format would have better served the material than this ill-focused drama. Since real-life family and observers chime in over the end credits, perhaps the filmmakers were thinking the same thing.
Author: Trevor Johnston
Fri Mar 16, 2007