Thursday, August 16, 2007

Factory Girl

After watching a whole slew of really bad Summer bombs, I decided to take a step back and watch a movie I thought may actually be good. Factory Girl is about the relationship between Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller), and Andy Warhol (Guy Pierce). The movie follows them as Edie joins Andy in his "The Factory" the studio the where he created his art house hit films staring Edie. Essentially the movie tells her story as she is thrust into stardom, the only true star in a sea of superficiality.

This is, of course, a revisionist story, but since I don't really know the true history, I can't attest to how accurate it is. One thing I do know is that her relationship with the Bob Dylan character (played with mediocrity by Hayden Christiansen) was entirely fictional. This isn't really important, though. At its core, it's about Edie wrestling with her fame, rebelling against her parents, and being used by Warhol.

Miller and Pierce both play their roles magnificently. Pierce captures the performance the Warhol himself created. Everything is chic, and oh so pretentious. Every word mapped out to support his outsider art personality. Miller portrays the glowing on the outside, empty on the inside Sedgwick. There are certain scenes where she genuinely captures the horror that she must have been feeling, having all her innermost feelings and secrets stripped from her and shown on screen. Jimmy Fallon plays Chucky, one of Edie's oldest and closest friends. He falls into the art scene, and in the end manipulates Edie more than anyone else. The only genuine person around her is the unnamed Dylan character that Edie falls for. In one wonderfully uncomfortable scene, he visits Edie in the factory, and makes Warhol feel out of place in his own studio.

It's tough, because despite how intriguing the story is, the script is not all that strong. Warhol seems to talk almost exclusively in one liners, and it seems that every line Sedgwick has to outline her inner turmoil. The entire script is carefully composed, and would normally fall flat. However, in the context of this pretentious time, with these pretentious characters, a pretentious script seems to work. It does sound like the deliberate dialog that the characters might actually have spoken.

This is an emotionally driven tale of Edie as she leaves her affluent family and enters the art world head first. She gets used up, and thrown out. The more she loses grip on reality, the more it comes crashing down on her. It paints Warhol, and that whole scene in an absolutely negative light- in a world of anarchy with Warhol as the twisted self-serving ring master. Factory Girl is a heart-wrenching story with Edie Sedgwick stuck in the middle.

Watch the Trailer


No comments: