Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens

DVD - 2009
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Based on the life stories Edith "Big Edie" Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale who are the eccentric aunt and first cousin of Jackie Onassis. They were raised as Park Avenue débutantes, but withdrew from New York society. They took shelter at their Long Island summer home called 'Grey Gardens.' As their wealth and contact with the outside world dwindled, so did their grasp on reality. They were reintroduced to the world when international tabloids learned of a health department raid on their home. At that point, Jackie swooped in to save her relatives.

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Outstanding although suspect documentary about a mother and daughter, relatives of Jackie Kennedy, who lived with little human contact in their decrepit, dirty mansion in East Hampton for many years. It appeals to the voyeur in all of us. Incredibly, it was later adapted as a stage musical, though an opera might have been better suited to the material. The house was eventually purchased and renovated by Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn.

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mswrite
Jul 26, 2019

A strange, at moments funny, but mostly sad and unnerving documentary about a mother and daughter handcuffed to the past and one another.
Forget about the faded wealth and connection to the super-famous, this film is really a meditation on family dysfunction and lives warped and wrecked by Borderline Personality Disorders.

l
loella
Jan 20, 2019

Completely alienating for the viewer. The maximally dysfunctional and degenerate are neither amusing, instructive, or sympathetic. Or that different from their famous relatives. The Maysles made some very good movies, most of them about the communitarian artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. This exposure of the desiccated formerly rich is sheet torture. --Ray Olson

LPL_LookPlayListen Aug 25, 2018

There's the documentary with the actual Beales and there's this movie with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore playing the actual Beales and they're much more engaging. The Big Edie and Little Edie Beale were cousins of Jackie Kennedy who just went right off the deep end. Big Edie took to her bed and gave up their house in fashionable East Hampton to entropy and feral cats and raccoons. Little Edie lost her hair from anxiety, gave up her show biz ambitions and holed up in the disintegrating family home. Jackie did come to their rescue to no avail, however. They were too far gone though Little Edie managed, at last, to gain some success as novelty cabaret act. Both of the actresses are outstanding. This is the movie that established Drew as a serious actress of no small talent.

s
smorgen
Dec 19, 2017

Edie's eccentricities make her easy to adore. Love her.

s
smorgen
Dec 19, 2017

I cannot give enough praise to Jessica Lange's and Drew Barrymore's spectacular performances in their portrayals of the Beals. Spot on. Do yourself a favour and watch the Grey Gardens documentary first.

f
firefly5
Sep 21, 2017

This was a completely boring and dull documentary about two mentally unbalanced women. Not worth watching.

ArapahoeStaff17 May 25, 2017

One of the greatest documentaries ever made hands down. This watershed film has influenced so many of the docs we see today. Still one of the most compelling stories. The directors Albert and David Maysles brothers follow two eccentric women, once wealthy and influential, who live in a run-down mansion in East Hampton, New York.

j
jsinaz
May 20, 2017

Absolutely mesmerizing documentary of the Beales: 'Big Edie' Bouvier Beale, and daughter, 'Little Edie,' who happen to be related to Jacqueline Bouvier (Kennedy/Onassis). I felt somewhat like a voyeur watching these two pathetic women who shut themselves off from their previous lives of wealth and entitlement to live in squalor in their mansion called Grey Gardens. Their eccentricities are documented openly, but I wonder how much was mugging for the cameras or performance art, especially by Little Edie. Still, quite a documentary. If you are interested in this, and want a dramatized look at the two women, catch the HBO film of the same title: Grey Gardens, starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore. It is on DVD and is available at PCPL. It is quite good, describing the back story of these two ladies.

k
KlügerKater
Apr 09, 2017

Grey Gardens is a striking documentary, which not only reveals the darker side of life in the American Aristocracy, but too unravels the complex issues of mental health before it became mainstream in popular series such as those showcasing the horrors of unchecked hoarding and similar diseases. This documentary at times can be very hard to watch, given the unfiltered look at two women (mother and daughter), who have lived isolated in their mansion in the Hamptons for many years with very little outside human contact. Nevertheless, this documentary is a must watch, and is very eye-opening, especially in regards to the early days of mental health and psychology. (For an added Bonus: Check out the series "Documentary Now" for an hilarious spoof of "Grey Gardens".)

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Monolith
Sep 03, 2013

Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale: "...It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present... Do you know what I mean...?"

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