Factory Girl is a captivating watch with stellar on-screen performance

No matter what you think of biopics in general, or even how this one is handled in particular, there’s one element of this movie that’s just undeniably on fire: the acting.

Sienna Miller stars as Edie Sedgwick, and yes, the resemblance is there. But that’s not what sells you. In fact, Miller looks enough like herself and not Sedgwick to knock you out of the moment, with harsher features and a different face shape. But her mannerisms are a Sedgwick lookalike, the way she dances with her arms and the little crushed-faced smiles she would make. Add in Miller’s perfect voice and you’re immersed in the story of the model’s rise. Its pacing is nearly identical, and it only takes about 15 seconds of watching Warhol and Sedgwick appear on 1965’s “The Merv Griffin Show” to prove it.

Miller isn’t the only one to completely nail her character. The other crucial casting dilemma is, of course, choosing your Warhol – and Guy Pierce is so accurate it must have been strange to anyone who knew him and watched him. Pierce had one on Miller in that he definitely looked a lot like Warhol when given that blonde wig, but he doesn’t skimp on the voice, which, again, is a crucial part of keeping viewers stuck in history. Tapping into the realities of this character — her voice, her ways, her weird little impulses — is paramount to audience engagement with the story. Plus, Miller and Pierce are electric together, just like the real Sedgwick and Warhol were.

Just as beautiful as their friendship was their downfall, and the film does a great job of showing it through their dedication to these performances. It’s certainly worth revisiting, if only for their lovable banter and wide-eyed wonder.

About Keith Johnson

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