By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 22, 2007 at 5:12 AM

There can’t be a whole lot of people pleased about “Factory Girl,” a film -- released on DVD Tuesday -- about erstwhile Andy Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick. After all, almost nobody comes out unscathed.

The film -- directed by George Hickenlooper (“Hearts of Darkness”) and written by Aaron Richard Golub and Captain Mauzner (“Wonderland”) -- charts Sedgwick’s move to New York City and her baptism into Warhol’s cutting edge Factory scene.

A society girl with baggage as stunning as her looks, Sedgwick (played by Sienna Miller) is an art student that in 1965 leaves Radcliffe behind to go art star gazing in Manhattan with her friend Chuck (Jimmy Fallon) and hopefully recreate the big screen life of Holly Golightly.

She quickly meets Warhol (Guy Pearce) and his gang of hangers on and fast becomes the muse for his fledgling career as a filmmaker. Later, she meets a guy  -- we’re supposed to pretend he isn’t Dylan (or are we?) -- who is Warhol’s polar opposite and pulls her in opposite directions.

Although Dylan attempted to stop the film because he argued that it portrays his break up with Sedgwick as the catalyst for her death years later, he’s arguably the only guy in the film that doesn’t look like a user.

Sedgwick’s dad abused her and tossed her into a mental hospital when she told her mom that she walked in on him having sex with a neighbor. Is Warhol -- for all his fascination with Edie -- interested in her as a person or solely as a commodity?

Edie’s two main male friends seem equally eager to use her to their own ends. Only Dylan -- sorry, I mean “Billy Quinn,” the folk rock star with the gravelly voice and a penchant for motorcycles -- seems eager to extract Sedgwick from the spiral of Factory life.

As drugs begin to overtake Edie and her life spirals out of control, even her own mother (Peggy Walton-Walker) -- and fashion queen Diana Vreeland (Illeana Douglas) who once thought her the face of youth -- seem little interested in her woes.

That the film will reach theaters without a half-dozen lawsuits in tow seems as stunning as Sedgwick’s own rapid rise and fall. A quick scan of some online bios suggests that it takes more than a few factual liberties (for example, Dylan appears to have met Edie via Warhol, not the other way 'round), which because it doesn’t claim to be a documentary may be OK. But if we’re not aiming for accuracy, why have Pearce clearly work so hard to capture Warhol’s mannerisms and speech? Why not let him riff?

Sedgwick’s story is an engaging one and the film lacks the kind of pizzazz that made Sedgwick so alluring. Fallon, for example, is a funny guy, but a flat actor. Pearce studied hard, but perhaps because Warhol is still so fresh in our collective memory, the artist feels caricatured. And was Warhol really that cold-heartedly sinister?

On the other hand, Miller’s ability to capture the highs and lows makes her the highlight of “Factory Girl,” which despite its flaws isn't torturous viewing.

In life, it was tragic that Sedgwick was so blinded by the radiant Warhol and his orbiting planets that she hurled herself into a black hole she mistook for a glorious universe.

In the cinema it’s similarly tragic that such a sizzling star gets such a fizzling film.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.