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One wonders if any of this would have transpired had Edith Ewing Bouvier (known as "Big Edie") and daughter Edith Bouvier Beale ("Little Edie") merely been garden variety eccentrics, instead of quasi-celebrities (the aunt and cousin, respectively, of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, nee Bouvier). On the other hand, there's a certain can't-turn-away-from-a-car-accident fascination that comes with watching the two Edies at home in their rundown, squalid East Hampton, Long Island estate (they were ordered to fix the place up before the documentary was shot, but it's still a dump, albeit a large one). With her endless parade of different "costumes," every one of them featuring a scarf, a towel, or some such material wrapped around her head (then in her mid-fifties, she had an oddball fashion sense that's a big part of her now-iconic status), Little Edie is quite a character. Considerably less appealing is her mother, a bitter, poisonous woman who apparently pressured her daughter to move back home and care for her after Big Edie's husband quite understandably abandoned her in the early 1950s. "My whole life, I've been ground down and insulted every minute," Little Edie confides to the camera, but she gives as good as she gets; the two of them squabble endlessly, mostly about past events and the careers they might have had (Big Edie as a singer, her daughter as a dancer and model). There are obviously many viewers who find this sort of terminal dysfunction appealing, even charming. For others, words like annoying and tedious may be more appropriate. And while The Beales of Grey Gardens offers more evidence that the two women actually cared for one another (there's also a good deal more interaction between the Beales and the filmmakers, along with various other visitors), it's essentially just more of the same. --Sam Graham
Stills from Grey Gardens (Click for larger image)
If you saw the documentary, you will be amazed at the talent of Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.Published 7 days ago by Stella Oliver
Exploitation and schadenfreude. The Maysles brothers should have been ashamed of themselves as they had promised a percentage of the profits of the film to the Beale women, and... Read morePublished 16 days ago by ClaireK
Art of no drama with insane women living on the edge of poverty. It's hard to watch and yet its won awards. I wonder what standards are used for qualifying for awards. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Carl
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|If you like Grey Gardens, you must see ALMA!!!||
Thanks for the tip - I'll check it out..(Alma)
Jun 28, 2009 by Deborah S. Bruzzo | See all 6 posts
No, she didn't have cancer. She lost her hair and eyebrows when she was younger.
Oct 21, 2006 by S. Williams | See all 14 posts
|I am obsessed with this||
I agree that there is an eerie addiction to this particular story. Ever since I watched it, I can't forget it, and the Beales (especially Edie) are always in my mind now. Weird, but I rather like it.
Jan 24, 2007 by J. Emerson | See all 7 posts
|Little Edie's Fbulous Gold Pin||
I dont know where but I think its fabulous too. I was surprised to find out that it was costume jewelry since she prized that piece so much.
Jul 8, 2007 by Jeff King | See all 5 posts
|Grey Gardens the musical||
Yes! I just saw it on Friday night. I'm absolutely in love with it. The music is beautiful, and Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson are absolute geniuses.
Nov 6, 2006 by Beatrice Stockwell | See all 2 posts
|recommended viewing like grey gardens||Be the first to reply|