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Drew Barrymore, the Grey Gardens standout, rises to the particular challenge of playing "Little Edie" Beale, whose accent, carriage, and mannerisms have developed their own camp following over the years. Barrymore's performance is a revelation: she captures the weirdness of Edie, but she knows what the documentary fans know--the reality of what Edie once had been, and what she was becoming. Barrymore's performance is delicate and strong, with a hint of sadness underneath the fading ingénue's brave face. Jessica Lange plays "Big Edie," the mother who made more concrete choices to wall herself off from the outside world. Lange is excellent, though Big Edie is a less nuanced character than her daughter, and she seems more content with her lot, perched in her teeming twin bed surrounded by mounds of cats and trash.
The filmmakers pay deep homage to the documentary, and carefully recreate the third lead character of the drama--the East Hampton, N.Y., mansion Grey Gardens itself. The making-of featurette is a must-have for fans of either film, as the filmmakers and actors talk about how they built a three-story facsimile of the home near Toronto (which also stands in for the Manhattan scenes). Also fascinating is the story of how certain beloved sets from the documentary were painstakingly re-created, including the Beales’ yellow bedroom, the entryway that played stage to the dancing aspirations of Little Edie, and the crumbling porch and yard where Edie would pose and prance, decked out in tights, shorts, a pinned-up skirt, and her signature sweater-snood, fastened with a brooch just so. "Well, Mother and I are very entertaining, that's true," says Little Edie, when the Maysles first approach her about cooperating in their documentary. And, happily, viewers of HBO's Grey Gardens could not agree more. --A.T. Hurley
Stills from Grey Gardens (click for larger image)
Drew Barrymore was spot on as Jackie Kennedy's cousin. Enjoyed watching this.Published 11 days ago by Val
Love ~ Love this movie! I could watch it over and over and again! Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lang are extremely complimentary in their performance to the Grey Garden's Ladies! Read morePublished 12 days ago by lori
Really Well play by boths of them,sad story,hard to believe was the reality.
A bit depressing.
This is a lovely film. I was impressed not only with the fine performances from Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore but with the sensitivity with which the material was handled. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Cough Drop Queen