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Factory Girl
Review written on: February 11th, 2007

Factory Girl Review

While many of us know about Andy Warhol’s colorful life in the backdrop of those crazy days in the “60”s, not too many of us are familiar with Warhol’s familiars. This is the story of one of them.

Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller) was a wealthy, young socialite and Harvard dropout who was brought into Warhol’s circle in the “Factory”, his New York studio where everything from film to his iconic pop art was fashioned. The two bonded, with Warhol (Guy Pearce) taking his pretty new friend under his wing as his muse, showcasing her in his short films. Edie is eager to become famous, and Andy is there to unleash his new find on the world.

Naturally, every image we associate with the era is prevalent in the film. Drugs, promiscuity, unrest, underground culture? It’s all there in abundance. Everyone enjoys it all in abundance, naturally.

Despite her privileged blue-blooded life and glamorous persona, Edie was truly screwed-up. Aside from a raging drug addiction, two of her brothers died, she was allegedly abused as a child, and she was institutionalized. The free-loving, drug-popping counterculture was an attempt and means to escape it all. In fact, that probably was what broke her down.

Edie gets into a relationship with singer Billy Quinn (allegedly partially modeled after Bob Dylan) (Hayden Christensen). Quinn doesn?t think very highly of Warhol or his art, and compares Edie to Holly Golightly (the character immortalized by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany?s): both are enjoying a fun, crazy lifestyle, surrounded by exciting people and both may have been victims of exploitation, discarded when they were no longer useful. Edie can’t turn away from Andy though, so she loses Quinn.

Edie starts messing heavily with the drugs and alcohol and starts piddling through her trust fund. She burns down her apartment and takes a room at the Chelsea hotel. Desperate for money, she begs friends, family, even business associates. She can’t get a job because of her addictive past. Her relationship with Andy is down the tubes, and he has obviously replaced her with a new muse (in an eerie throwback to Quinn?s statements). Edie’s life is in shambles and she blames the artist for the way she ended up.

While Edie is trying to get clean and pick up the pieces of her shattered life, on-screen captions of her future foretells an even sadder ending to a tragic life: she was in and out of hospitals battling her continued drug addiction, then married, and died of an overdose at the age of 28.

Definitely give this film a shot! The peace and love decade and the bizarre world of Warhol was beautifully portrayed through color, image, and music. The pace of the film was very quick. The turbulence that was her life mirrored the picture’s soaring and stalling in plot. Sadly, the main point of this film was crystal clear. Edie Sedgwick was a beautiful lady who was eager for acceptance and prestige, was emotionally fragile, and died before her time.

 

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