How do you go from S—sburgh to Oscartown? That’s the problem facing the Weinstein Co. as it attempts to position its Edie Sedgwick biopic, Factory Girl, as an Academy Awards contender. The $8 million movie has been beset with problems since it wrapped last February — including lawsuits, cranky stars, and last-minute shoots. But the hiccups started long before headliner Sienna Miller made that now-infamous crack about Pittsburgh. (She’s since apologized.) During the production, it became clear that the movie needed additional footage. ”Harvey Weinstein [gave] us a lot more money to shoot five more scenes,” says director George Hickenlooper. He also notes that filming was delayed after Sony Pictures sued Factory producers over distribution rights. Of course, when that suit was dismissed, stars Guy Pearce (Warhol) and Miller were busy with other projects. As a result, production ended just last month, and eleventh-hour edits are happening as you read this.
So where does that leave the movie? Weinstein execs expressed confidence in its Oscar chances and maintain they’ll make the scheduled Dec. 29 debut in L.A. — but in a curious move, are forgoing most critics screenings in New York (the Weinstein Co. says it’ll screen more extensively in January). Says Hickenlooper: ”Making the film is probably not too dissimilar from how Edie led her life.” Given that she notoriously lived fast and died young, one has to wonder how that can be a good thing.