I couldn’t wait to get home tonight- all I wanted to do was order in sushi, get into my pajamas and jump into bed with my laptop to watch ‘Factory Girl‘…so that’s exactly what I did.
I am a huge fan of biopics. I am captivated by life. This story follows the rise and fall of the legendary Edie Sedgwick. She is the ‘poor little rich girl’ born to American aristocracy and the cinematic muse to pop art genius Andy Warhol. The year is 1965, and she is living every young girl’s dream. Ambitious and beautiful, Edie’s life changes forever when she meets Andy Warhol, the man who will transform her into a dazzling superstar. She has the world at her feet. Every woman wants to be her. Yet, Edie is alone. A fragile shooting star who dazzles the world with her beauty, style and glamour, Edie is one of the great pop icons of the 1960’s. This is her story.
While I know that this movie has been bashed by critics since its opening, I was still interested to see it and would not let myself be swayed. As I suspected, it is stylish and quirky and it completely captured me. Sienna Miller’s performance of Edie Sedgwick is absolutely stunning. Miller never plays a stereotype, this performance is real, heartfelt and compelling. The film itself is an exciting, sometimes upsetting look at the 60’s art world, the superficial idealism of the 60’s and the price of fleeting fame.
Perhaps the true genius of ‘Factory Girl’ is that you actually really feel the shallowness of The Factory world. If you’ve ever been around someone who has narcissistic tendencies (which all The Factory members do), at their core, they’re incredibly dull; but from a psychological and voyeuristic standpoint, the narcissism is what makes the people who inhabit The Factory so fascinating. And if you have experienced first hand the culture of clubbing, fashion, music, art, drugs, etc. in which all is momentary and expendable; and the people are self absorbed and always looking for the next cool thing or “it” person; you will appreciate how this movie really nails it.
I love films about real people, complex characters. Edie Sedgwick was self destructive but she also possessed a real light. She was a vibrant and fascinating woman who really started a big movement at that time. I think that Edie burns out because she is abused and misguided- a true tortured soul. The relationship that she has with Warhol is intense and complex. They feed from one another in opposite ways and strangely, they compliment each other very well. There is a quality in the nature of their connection that I can relate to.
The other element that I must note about this film is the extraordinary fashion. This film is impeccably styled. Edie Sedgwick herself possessed an exquisite personal style. Her look was entirely unique, which I believe was somewhat accidental. She would do these ballet work-outs, and she’d wear her leotards with her black tights, and then she couldn’t be bothered to change, so she’d just put a coat over it. This look caught on and became a huge trend. It was kind of an inadvertent thing that happened. She was carelessly stylish in the most fabulous way.
‘Factory Girl’ has been called, “the sexiest, most provocative film of the year.” I say it’s definitely worth checking out.