‘Factory Girl’ partly worthwhile

Iconic artist Andy Warhol once said, “I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night, I start spreading rumors to my dogs.” This quote seems to be the driving force of the film “Factor Girl,” which is centered on the social obsessions of the “Warhol Cult.” Set in 1965, the year Edie Sedgwick met Andy Warhol and became known as his muse, the film chronicles her time in New York to her falling out with Warhol, and concludes with her death from a barbiturate overdose in 1971.

“Factory Girl,” directed by George Hickenlooper, includes an impressive star ensemble including Guy Pearce, Sienna Miller, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Fallon, Shawn Hatosy and even two band members of “Weezer.” So far, the film has been bashed by critics, but it deserves a little more credit that it has been given. The film contained a myriad of outstanding features and, if taken apart, deserves a fair amount of praise.

The largest portion of acclaim is easily awarded to Guy Pearce (“The Count of Monte Cristo”) in his depiction of Warhol. Pearce was completely on point with the characteristics, physical and vocal qualities of the famous artist. This performance is arguably one of the better ones I have seen from any actor in a long time. Most actors these days take the safe route by not bothering to become the character and make it feel real for the audience. Pearce does this.

The appeal of the cinematography, which was surprisingly extremely artistic and precise, also enhanced the film. Hickenlooper interlaced black and white film with color film, creating an exciting and engaging piece. The cinematography saved a lot of the film’s other, rather banal qualities.

While this is the only performance Miller (“Casanova”) has done that proves she’s an actress and not just a face, the performance was not as phenomenal as Pearce’s. Edie Sedgwick was incorrectly portrayed as the center of the “Silver Factory” and innocent victim who fell prey to Warhol, who ultimately helped lead to her death. Warhol is depicted as not only behind Sedgwick in importance but also as a villain, even though the film clearly shows Sedgwick cruising out of control long before their tiff.

The film would be almost great but, alas, Christensen (“Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith”) walks in. His portrayal of “Musician” (Bob Dylan, though his lawyers would not allow them to use his name) nearly killed the film. His form was flat, his accent was inconsistent and his stage presence was horrendous. He may be good to look at, but that is all he provides the film.

There were issues with the script and then length of the film. Unfortunately, the film only runs at 91 minutes, which is far too short to develop a story this intricate, and the writing is below par. An easy fix would have been to add more detail and depth to each of the scenes; there is plenty of fascinating history from which to draw.

I am on the fence as to whether I like the film. Taken apart, I can say it deserves both four out of five stars and two out of five stars. I suggest seeing the film because even if the entirety isn’t worth seeing, integral portions of it are.

3 out 5 stars