Sienna Miller shines in Factory Girl. Read on:
If Andy Warhol is little more than a name for most people these days — an oddball figure that shows up via impersonator in any modern movie that needs to set its time and place as “alternative ’60s” — than the infamous artist’s muse, the doomed Edie Sedgwick, is even less of a pop culture touchstone. Just ask anyone in the Western world to name a famous “Edie” and you’ll probably get a response of “Edie Falco” or maybe “Edie Brickell.” Perhaps even “Edith Bunker,” but “Edie Sedgwick” would likely rank below all of these. So why make a movie about her now, all these years after her brief partnership with Warhol?
The Factory Girl filmmakers’ response to that question is that Edie is still affecting us today, be it in fashion or art or pop culture, whether we know it or not. One supposes that’s true, if only in that Warhol’s nonconformist yet attention-starved art was so influenced by his alliance with Edie, specifically his experimental films, as was his ongoing relationship with the mass media, which was supercharged for the year or two that he and Sedgwick were inseparable.
Sedgwick (Sienna Miller), a self-described “poor little rich girl,” comes from an old money family that is seemingly perfect but actually dysfunctional with a capital DYS. Sexually abused and manipulated by her father (or so the film tells us), Edie escapes to New York City in the mid-’60s where she hopes to make her mark, sell her art, become a star — basically be something more. Perhaps the clearest indication of her intentions comes later in the film when she explains that it was the image of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in the poster for Breakfast at Tiffany’s that inspired her. But Edie admits she never saw the movie or read the book — it was simply the sight of Hepburn’s glamour that she aspired to mimic.
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In theaters February 2, 2007
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