“Factory Girl,” review by Susan Granger

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If you don’t believe scandal sells, look at the casting of this movie

As London’s It Girl, model Sienna Miller was eager to play Andy Warhol’s beatnik chic muse Edie Sedgwick but it was felt she didn’t have a big enough name. Yet as soon as she lured Jude Law away from his wife Sadie Frost and their children, Sienna’s star ascended. Within the framework of Edie narrating her life in retrospect, the story begins in 1964 as she arrives in Manhattan. The art student/socialite – with sturdy financial connections – meets the androgynous pop artist Warhol (Guy Pearce), only to be devoured by his hedonistic, avant-garde scene and her own descent into addiction. Warhol discards Edie after she becomes involved with a musician who is supposed to be – but, for legal purposes, is not called – Bob Dylan (“Star Wars” Hayden Christensen), who allegedly wrote “Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat” and “Just Like a Woman” for her.

When she goes through her trust fund, it’s a total shock. “How could I possibly be bankrupt?” Edie asks her financial advisor (Edward Herrmann). “My grandfather invented the elevator!” “Then,” he says, “you should be familiar with the concept of up and down.”

Written by Simon Monjack, Aaron Richard Golub and Captain Mauzner, and clumsily directed by George Hickenlooper, it’s the familiar, cliché-riddled show biz rise and fall with banal notes about substance abuse and the price of fame.

True, Sienna Miller looks like Edie but, as for that supposedly steamy sex scene with Hayden, the only heat comes from the fireplace behind them. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Factory Girl” is a fleeting, superficial 5 – and the end credits show photos of the actual Edie and people who actually knew her reminiscing about her.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.