Starring Lili Taylor, Jared Harris, Stephen Dorff
"I Shot Andy Warhol"
Opens: May 17, 1996 | Rated: R
One doesn't cast Lili Taylor unless one is hoping for an extremely personal movie. "I Shot Andy Warhol" is a film of two extraordinary performances: Taylor as the violently angry feminist Valerie Solanas and Jared Harris as the spaced-out genius on the outside, shallow-on-the-inside Warhol.
Told from Solanas' perspective, and narrated with passages read to the camera from "The S.C.U.M. Manifesto," her tirade against the male sex, the film stays focused on Solanas without distraction. We see her prostitute her body and her mind -- offering passers-by on the streets of New York intellectual conversation for money, or short of that "any dirty word you want, one dollar."
And her mind is the focus of the film. Solanas is brilliant, but angry and unstable. She lives in an abandon building and spends days at a time on the roof with her typewriter.
A little movie like this will never garner Oscar nods, but there will not be a better performance this year than Taylor offers in this movie. The people Solanas spent her life with, the other characters in this movie, do not know as much about her inner workings as the audiences of this movie.
Harris is wonderfully understated as Worhol, speaking in measured tones and offering very little emotion beyond calling everything "great, that's great," he is the perfect supporting player -- making his presence felt, but not overshadowing the story with the fact that he's Andy Worhol.
The movie's weakest link is Stephen Dorff, completely unconvincing as a drag queen who befriends Solanas. Maybe the character is supposed to be a bad drag queen, but Dorff seems totally insincere in his performance, like he doesn't even want to be there.
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