Grey Gardens [videorecording]

     Review by:  Linda

Title: Grey Gardens [videorecording]

Starring:  Drew Barrymore, Jessica Lange, Daniel Baldwin, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ken Howard

Collection:   Movies

In 1973, documentary filmmaking brothers Albert Maysles and David Maysles decide to change the focus of their latest project from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to her aunt and older cousin, mother and daughter Edith Bouvier Beale – called Big Edie – and Edith ‘Little Edie’ Bouvier Beale, who were found living in squalor and isolation in the longtime family mansion, Grey Gardens, in East Hampton, New York.   In 2009 a movie was made based on the documentary.  It starred Jessica Lange as big Edie and Drew Barrymore as Little Edie.  The movie makers wanted to answer some of the questions left hanging after the documentary.  The movie flashes back to the 1930’s and Little Edie’s debut into society.  We also see some of the other characters mentioned in the documentary, such as Phelan Beale, the husband/father, Little Edie’s brothers, and the producer that Little Edie was going to audition for.
The DVD I watched included some background into making the film.  Parts of the original documentary were shown, and we see the real Big and Little Edies.  Based on the documentary clips, Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange captured the spirits and characters of the women.  Their story is fascinating.  It is hard to imagine how they went from riches to rags in a couple of decades.  I enjoyed this movie a lot, and I hope the audio visual committee will consider purchasing the original 1973 documentary for our collection!  Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction.

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