Biopics. The biopic genre is a genre that can easily stand the test of time because of the way a writer or writer-director has a way to sensationalize the subject or subject matter. Biopics can be either completely fictional, semi-factual, or overly sensational, but if done right they can be a compelling piece of filmmaking. And in a way, that’s what we got here. Departed filmmaker George Hickenlooper directed this biopic of Edie Sedwick in such an evocative and eccentric way that it felt almost like watching a Warhol underground movie, which worked out quite flawlessly considering the subject matter. The main problem, however, that I am just itching to address is just how sensationalized this movie is; knowing as much as I do about Warhol and Sedwick and the inhabitants of The Factory I could easily lay back and spot the fact from the fiction. One of the most glaringly obvious fictional parts of this film is the way they portrayed Bob Dylan. They portrayed him as her lover and the intention cause of Edie’s downward spiral into drug abuse and subsequent barbituate overdose, which is complete and utter bullshit because she was a known addict before they even met and they weren’t anything more than just off-and-on acquaintences. But, seeing as I went into watching this movie knowing it wasn’t entirely factual, I was still able to enjoy the tones and sensationalism of the story. The screenplay may not be entirely tight, but the way it flows wonderfully throughout made it just good enough to make this film hold my intention. The absolute best thing about this film, however, that makes me seriously wanna recommend it is Sienna Miller’s transcendent and eerily uncanny performance as Edie Sedwick. I’ve seen “Ciao Manhattan” before, and I can definitely state she not only got the look down perfectly, but she also expertly captured her poise, her manner of speaking, and her mannerisms in a way that no other actress could’ve ever done. Not only that, but as the story progresses into a bitter downward spiral when she is using and withdrawing from drugs, as someone who’s personally been around people going through that I can state outright Sienna incomparably captured the painful dissolution of a dreadfully crippling drug addiction. This is the type of performance that comes around once in a blue moon that without a doubt deserves way more recognition than it got.
In conclusion, George Hickenlooper’s “Factory Girl” is definitely a sensationalized piece that is more fiction than fact, however it is a well shot and extraordinarily well-acted film that certainly deserves a better chance that it got. While I do agree somewhat with the points Lou Reed (Rest In Peace) brought up when this came out, I still wanna recommend it to people who love Sedwick, Warhol, or the history behind The Factory.
My Rating: 7.5/10
Rest in Peace, George Hickenlooper
Thanks for Reading!