Factory Girl

While it may not be clear to everyone what skinny art student Edie Sedgwick saw in Andy Warhol, it is very clear what he saw in her: money.

Bringing her old money with her via Radcliffe, Edith Sedgwick probably loved the quiet defiance in Warhol and his nerve to laugh at the world.

He loved her good looks, her emotional support of his work, her admiration of him and all the fine meals she paid for. At first, Edie roped in her mother’s society friends to buy Warhol’s art at high prices. Warhol’s pocket book grew along with Edie’s fame until the bubble burst and Edie’s parents cut off her trust fund.

To an outsider, fact blurs with fiction and as viewers we have no solid ground to stand on. At times the film reads like a documentary, at other times like a collage of an evil sixties no one ever heard about. It is interesting to note that one of the people behind the film is Edie’s brother; is he in fact carrying out a personal vendetta?

Another note of interest is that Bob Dylan threatened to sue if his name wasn’t taken out of the film. Hayden Christensen is so the Bob Dylan that Dylan never was, luscious and caring, that one can’t help but wonder if Dylan shouldn’t have left his name in the film.

This loving Dylan, renamed Billy Quinn, tries to warn Edie but makes the same fatal mistake as everyone else – one word against Warhol and Edie rallies to his defense. Whatever the reason, Dylan left and Edie turned more and more frequently to drugs.

Beautiful and intense, Sienna Miller’s portrayal of Edie is the heart of this film. Fragile at all times, you just know that Edie can’t last long in this wicked world where no one can resist hurting her. The most difficult part of her childhood, she confesses, was keeping her father “out of my bed.”

Later another brother, Minty, committed suicide in part because he couldn’t reconcile being gay. At first it seems to Edie that she has found a real home in Warhol’s Factory and he makes her the star of all his movies. Everything is accepted here. But if the goal is art, then the goal becomes the art of pain, twisted with wickedness in the meanest way possible.

Once the well runs dry, Warhol moves on, to different women with more money in their pockets. Art student, Edie makes it back to Santa Barbara for her first and only one woman exhibit.

Factory Girl
Release Date: Feb. 2, 2007.
Run Time: 1 hr. 27 min.
Rating: R – pervasive drug use, strong sexual content,
Nudity and language.
Cast: Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Fallon,
Jack Huston.
Director: George Hickenlooper.
Stars: 2 1/2.
Tinseltown, 88 West Pender

More in

Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.