Sienna Miller: From Bikinis to Oscars?

I’ve given Sienna Miller her fair share of flack in my blogging career, but I don’t think I’ve ever said anything bad about her acting skills. In fact, I’ve always enjoyed Sienna’s performances everytime I’ve seen her. She was witty and quick in Keen Eddie, sultry and sexy in Layer Cake, and just a little bit psycho, and also sexy in Alfie (check her out in this video Sienna Miller painting in the nude).

But Sienna Miller as an Oscar contender? I don’t think I’ve ever thought of that. However, that seems to be a bit of the buzz going on right now, surrounding Sienna and her performance in Factory Girl. Particularly, film critic Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere (and another critic he quotes) seems to be very taken with Sienna’s performance, and is giving her big Oscar bonus points.

I know award-quality when I see it, and Sienna Miller’s capturing of Edie Sedgwick — the doomed mid ’60s scenester and Andy Warhol girl who died in ’71 at age 28 — in George Hickenlooper’s Factory Girl (Weinstein Co.) totally rates. It may be the most eerily accurate reviving of a dead person I’ve ever seen in a film. And yet Miller projects dimension and gravitas in spades — an unmistakable sadness and snap and aliveness like nothing I’ve gotten from an actress in any movie so far this year.

Miller isn’t just a dead ringer for the real McCoy — she gets her fluttery debutante laugh, that mixture of Warholian cool and little-girl terror, the giddy euphoria, the cracked voice. It’s more than convincing — it’s a kind of rebirthing. (I feel I can say this with some authority having seen the real Sedgwick in John Palmer and David Weisman’s Ciao Manhattan! way back when, and having looked at her photos for years.)

Now that’s a pretty big endorsement. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard such a glowing review of any recent performance, really. Of course, in regards to Hayden Christensen, he said: “Hayden Christensen’s performance of an obviously Bob Dylan-ish figure is, for me, the most engaging thing he’s ever done,” so maybe take it with a grain of salt (Hayden fans, please don’t crucify me, I’m just making a joke).

At any rate, for a girl who started out modelling bikinis (as illustrated in the classic pictures below), it’s quite a step up. But remember, Charlize Theron started out in Playboy, and she’s done pretty well for herself. So, will Sienna Miller take home the gold, or will she even get nominated? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. But you don’t have to wait to see those Sienna Miller bikini pictures, so get clickin’.

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