Complete A-Z list

Factory Girl


Stars: Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Fallon, Mena Suvari, Shawn Hatosy

Director: George Hickenlooper

The doomed lives of people who burst into our consciences like fireworks, only to plunge back to earth, extinguished in moments, often make good cinema and this portrait of underground superstar Edie Sedgwick (Miller), though as flawed as its leading character, is no exception.

For an all-too-brief period, this hyper girl, whose idol was Audrey Hepburn's Holly in Breakfast at Tiffany's, was the muse of gay, languid pop-art icon Andy Warhol (Pearce) and his cronies at The Factory, a warehouse-style space in New York where pop art ran hand-in-hand with epic-length movies in which the actors played themselves as Warhol's camera rolled relentlessly on.

For a couple of years, Edie finds herself a celebrity on Andy's arm, but she steps through a black hole to a downward spiral through her affair with singer Tommy Quinn (Christensen) - a thinly-disguised version of Bob Dylan.

When Quinn ridicules Warhol at his studio, Edie stays at The Factory instead of walking out with her lover. As her former colleagues ostracise her anyway, it's a mistake - and one which costs her career and, ultimately, her life.

Given her previous undistinguished record, Miller is actually quite good as Edie: she certainly puts her all into the role. Pearce is the floppily platinum-haired Warhol to the life. And the catalogue of drugs and despair that forms the latter half of the film isn't such a downer as you might expect.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Paramount (Weinstein Company). Technicolor.
89 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 11 Mar 2007