Factory Girl *1/2
Directed by George Hickenlooper
Written by Captain Mauzner
Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgwick
Guy Pearce as Andy Warhol
Hayden Christensen as Musician
Jimmy Fallon as Chuck Wein
Mena Suvari as Richie Berlin
Edward Herrman as James Townsend
Illeana Douglas as Diana Vreeland
90 Minutes(Rated R for pervasive drug use, strong sexual content, nudity and language.)
"Factory Girl" is the biopic of Edie Sedgwick, but it could easily be the biopic of every single other person that has ever been the subject of a biopic. It contains some colorful characters, quick montages, and even(get this!) a drug addiction. In fact, throw in some music and a different subject, and we've got another "Walk the Line," and if you throw in some jazz you've got "Ray." "Factory Girl" is the most uninspired of all of the biopics in recent memory, and it certainly is the most trite and obvious one. These biopics certainly don't scour the world for originality, and if these people they were based on were still alive, they'd probably be insulted.
"Factory Girl" is about Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol's relationship, her relationship with Boy Dylan, her drug addiction, and then her eventual downfall. It begins with her very carefree, leaving her boyfriend and then going off on her own. Edie ends up meeting Andy Warhol at a party, and begins to praise him for being original and "the only person to be doing something like this at the time." Andy is fascinated by Edie, and quickly asks her to be a part in one of his movies. He doesn't make big Hollywood movies-he shoots everything in his house-his factory. In fact, he does everything in his factory-throws parties, shoots his films, showcases his art-it is even complete with cattle and horses. Edie becomes addicted to heroin and speed, not in that order, and as her fame grows so does her addiction. Edie then gets involved with a mysterious Musician who looks and sounds just like Bob Dylan(It is Bob Dylan, but Dylan didn't want his name to appear in this film at all, so his characters name is oddly never mentioned at all.) Andy seems to become a little jealous of what is going on, and they have a falling out. He scorns her in public, doesn't lend her any money for her to support herself, and begins to train a new It girl to take her place. Edie can't leave Andy and finds herself tormented by their little falling out, leading to the inevitable finale.
I guess I'll start with the good, even though their isn't much. There is Sienna Miller, beautiful as ever in what could have been the role of her career if the Weinsteins marketed this right, and released it at the right time. They released it for a week at the end of last year in LA only, mainly because it wasn't exactly complete. Miller's performance was completely ignored, but that's because nobody knew about it. The Weinsteins should have been smart, and saved this for release at the end of next year when a new batch of Oscar flicks are coming out. Maybe then she could have gotten some attention. Miller is fantastic here, and literally saves the movie from being something of made for TV quality. It is a difficult role, but Miller plays it right, never getting out of character, and never reminding me a Sienna Miller. She could easily replace Meryl Streep on the Oscar ballot for this year, but the day that Miller overcomes Streep is the day I stop watching movies out of disbelief that the Academy could have gotten something right. Guy Pearce is the second best actor here, giving Andy Warhol the usual quirk and comedy that pretty much every single other actor who has done Andy Warhol is. Pearce can't be classified as good, but amusing. And that's in for the acting. Hayden Christessen can't do anything except Star Wars, and he is trying so hard to do a decent Bob Dylan accent that he doesn't even care about anything else. And it still seems like he's practicing, as it changes often. And the rest of the cast is like "Spot the Washed Up Actor or Actress Who You Never See But Somehow Managed to All Get Casted Here." There's Mena Suvari who I forgot existed, and wish it stayed that way. Illeana Douglass who is a good surprise every now and again, but is over the top and pointless here. Jimmy Fallon, who is still trying to find something to do with his career.
The story is far too piled up for ninety minutes, but I'm grateful that it was that short. The script has some horrible lines, and it resorts to the ol' interview bit where old Edie talks about young Edie. And there is the slo mo final shot. . . of Edie walking down the hospital corridor with text on the screen telling us how the story ends. I guess the interviews were just to catch up on the past, but a more effective way would have been to do it through narrative, or conversations with the characters instead of the sloppy interview bit. "Factory Girl" just has a bad script, along with a contrived plot line and method of telling its story. It's a biopic in the truest sense of the word, and by that I mean the same old thing. I'm tired of studios thinking that if they take a famous drug addicted famous for a minute person they will hear an Oscar a-callin'. It doesn't work that way, and "Factory Girl" is proof.