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Factory Girl
UKScreen Rating:

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Aspiring artist – and wealthy heiress – Edie Sedgwick (Miller) leaves her best friend Syd (Hatosy) behind in sleepy Cambridge Massachusetts to seek her fortune in the Big Apple.
Her Manhattan-based friend, Chuck (Fallon, unusually eschewing his comic persona), takes her to typically high-society parties and art-exhibitions – at one, she’s introduced to the much-hyped, but still upcoming artist Andy Warhol (Pearce).
Before long, she becomes his muse and he her mentor. She stars in what passes for his films and they share intimate late night phone-calls.
Some time later, Syd arrives in town and turns up at Warhol’s loft studio – otherwise known as his “factory.”
Syd whisks Edie away to meet his new boss – Christensen plays the successful folk singer who, it could have been argued seems similar to Bob Dylan, had Bob Dylan’s legal team not expressed their dissatisfaction with this idea – and suddenly, nothing is the same again.
When Edie starts hanging around with the singer, her relationship with Warhol is strained to breaking point.
The jealous Warhol pushes her away, which has the effect of making her less attractive to the singer. She’s left alone – penniless – a pathetic figure, walked over by everyone she meets.
Driven to drink and drugs to get over her loneliness and depression, she ends up in a California rehabilitation centre, from where she narrates her story.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

The film bristles with the late sixties excitement and energy you’d expect from a film about Warhol – but hang on, it’s not a film about Warhol – a powerful and eccentric artist who shaped a generation of modern artist. It’s a film about his muse – a spoilt, rich girl with little talent for anything except destroying herself.
Maybe it’s a failure of the film-makers, but she’s just doesn’t comes across as a particularly interesting character – just a pathetic one.
As a cinema-going audience, it’s hard to identify with someone who has so little going for her – or at least someone who has looks and wealth going for her and throws it all away.
Each time she makes one of her many bad life decisions, you lose sympathy with her more.
The film’s big failure is that it’s only really interesting when Guy Pearce’s Warhol is on the screen – the former Neighbours star continuing a repertoire of highly original performances.
He famously introduced the concept of being famous for fifteen minutes – perhaps a quarter of an hour would’ve have been a better length for this film about woman about whom there’s really not much to say.
In fact, you learn a lot more about what Edie Sedgwick was like from the clips of friends and family talking about her over the end credits.

opens nationwide 16th March 2007

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