Factory Girl (film)

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Factory Girl
Factory girl.jpg
Directed by George Hickenlooper
Produced by Aaron Richard Golub
Holly Wiersma
Screenplay by Captain Mauzner
Story by Captain Mauzner
Aaron Richard Golub
Starring Sienna Miller
Guy Pearce
Hayden Christensen
Jimmy Fallon
Mena Suvari
Shawn Hatosy
Edited by Dana E. Glauberman
Distributed by The Weinstein Company/MGM (USA)
Paramount Pictures (UK)
Release date
  • December 29, 2006 (2006-12-29)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Budget $7 million
Box office $3,572,632

Factory Girl is a 2006 American biographical film directed by George Hickenlooper. It is based on the rapid rise and fall of 1960s underground film star and socialite, Edie Sedgwick (played by Sienna Miller), known for her association with the artist Andy Warhol (Guy Pearce).

The film premiered in Los Angeles on December 29, 2006 to largely negative reviews from critics, who nonetheless praised Miller's performance as Sedgwick.


Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller) is a young heiress studying art in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She moves to New York City, where she is introduced to pop art painter and film-maker Andy Warhol (Guy Pearce). Intrigued by the beautiful socialite, he asks her to perform in one of his underground movies. Soon she is spending time with him at the Factory, his studio and also the hangout of a group of eccentrics, some of them drug addicts. Her status as Warhol superstar and success as a fashion model earn her popularity and international attention.

Her Cambridge friend, Syd, introduces her to poet and singer, Billy Quinn (Hayden Christensen), a character based on Bob Dylan. Andy becomes jealous, so Edie tries but fails to keep her love affair with Billy a secret. To reconcile them, she arranges a meeting. Although he agrees to be filmed by Andy, when Billy visits the studio he shows his contempt. As Billy leaves, Edie tries once more to make peace, but Billy calls Andy a "bloodsucker" who will "kill" her. Seeing that Edie will stay, Billy kisses her forehead and leaves her.

As addiction takes its toll, Edie's relationship with Andy deteriorates. One night while in a drug-induced stupor, she falls asleep while smoking a cigarette and nearly dies in the ensuing fire. Vogue refuses to hire her; editor Diana Vreeland (Ileana Douglas) explaining that Edie is considered "vulgar". Interrupting a luncheon of Andy and his friends, she demands to be paid and accuses him of ruining her.

When Syd sees Edie again, she has become a prostitute. In a taxi, he shows Edie, who is very depressed, a photo of herself when they were art students. He says that he fell in love with her then, and tells her that she can still be an artist. She says that she cannot bear her loneliness but interrupts him, asking the driver, "Can we go?" When the driver says that they are stuck in a traffic jam, she leaves the cab and runs frantically down the street. The scene changes to a hospital, years in the future. She tells an interviewer that she is overcoming her addiction and is glad to be home in Santa Barbara. The closing caption explains the last few years, her struggle to control drug abuse and her marriage to another patient, which ended in less than four months when she died of an overdose.



Lou Reed, singer/songwriter of the Velvet Underground and one of the Factory people who knew Sedgwick, hated the film. He told the New York Daily News, "I read that script. It's one of the most disgusting, foul things I've seen – by any illiterate retard – in a long time. There's no limit to how low some people will go to write something to make money... They're all a bunch of whores."[1][2]

Bob Dylan threatened to sue, saying through his lawyers that the script insinuated his responsibility in Sedgwick's drug abuse and death.[3] Jonathan Sedgwick claimed that an affair his sister Edie had with Dylan resulted in a pregnancy that ended with an abortion.[4][5] To date no lawsuit has been filed.

The film was set back by numerous delays, including a lawsuit by Sony Pictures, as well as the schedules of Miller and Pearce, so additional shooting was delayed until mid November 2006.[6] Consequently, producer Harvey Weinstein had to postpone the release date. Director George Hickenlooper helmed the additional shoots and mixed the final cut of the film in New York City, where he worked in close collaboration with Weinstein.[7] Weinstein released the picture on December 29, 2006 in Los Angeles, and nationwide on February 2, 2007.



Katie Holmes was set to star as Sedgwick, but it was reported Tom Cruise convinced Holmes not to do it because it would be bad for her image. Regarding the rumors, Holmes said, "I declined the role in Factory Girl based on my own decisions about the movie."[8] The role then went back to Miller. However, Holmes had also stated that even if she did take the part, she would have had to drop out because she was pregnant when the movie was set to begin filming.

Because the post production schedule was so delayed, Hickenlooper continued to sound edit the film after its initial release in Los Angeles on December 29, 2006.[7]

According to Hickenlooper, the budget, once expected to be $8 million, was less than $7 million.[9]

Filming locations[edit]

New York City, Toronto, Stamford, Connecticut, and Shreveport, Louisiana served as the filming locations.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews, but Sienna Miller's performance as Edie Sedgwick was met with critical acclaim. Johnny Vaughan from Sun Online concluded that "It's Sienna Miller's star that shines brightest in this heartbreaking cautionary tale." Empire magazine described Factory Girl as "A brave bid to recreate a modern American tragedy, with a revelatory turn by its lead actress." Richard Roeper said "I think Sienna Miller does a really nice job of capturing Edie Sedgwick, who really was the fore-runner to Paris Hilton and a lot of other people who are just famous for being famous." Mick LaSalle from San Francisco Chronicle said "Miller gets old and used up before our eyes, and we not only see it, we see what it means to experience it. This is a movie about power, and its spectacle is that of a woman losing all of it." Stella Papamichael wrote for the BBC: "In all it's an unconvincing portrait, and as the Dylan clone says, "Empty, like one of those cans of soup...". The film was also considered a box office bomb.[10] Trevor Johnston for Time Out wrote "One wonders whether the documentary format would have better served the material than this ill-focused drama. Since real-life family and observers chime in over the end credits, perhaps the filmmakers were thinking the same thing."[11] In The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw gave the film two out of five stars and said; "Edie Sedgwick's story is sad, but never appears important or interesting."[12] The film currently holds 19% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[13]


  1. ^ Fischer, Martha. "Factory Girl: Oscar Material for Sienna Miller?". Cinematical. August 19, 2006.
  2. ^ "Dylan Threatens Action Over Sedgwick Biopic". The Guardian. December 15, 2006.
  3. ^ Yuan, Jada. "The Freewheelin' Hayden". New York. February 5, 2007.
  4. ^ Johnson, Richard. "My Sister Edie Loved Dylan Archived January 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.". New York Post. January 2, 2007.
  5. ^ Cole, Olivia. "Warhol Muse 'Lost Baby by Dylan'". The Sunday Times. January 7, 2007.
  6. ^ Juarez, Vanessa. "Working 'Girl': The Studio Behind 'Factory Girl' Pushes Oscar". Entertainment Weekly. January 8, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Rapkin, Mickey. "Factory Man". The New York Times. December 24, 2006.
  8. ^ Brett, Anwar. Movies, An Interview with Katie Holmes BBC. June 15, 2005.
  9. ^ Stewart, Ryan. Junket Report: Factory Girl Cinematical January 31, 2007.
  10. ^ Papamichael, Stella. "Factory Girl (2007)". BBC Movies, 13 March 2007. BBC. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  11. ^ Johnston, Trevor (March 14–20, 2007). "Factory Girl review". Time Out London (1908). Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (March 16, 2007). "Factory Girl". The Guardian. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Factory Girl". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 26, 2011. 

External links[edit]