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on February 3, 2017
Documentaries are such individualized tastes, but I liked Grey Gardens because I had just seen the Hollywood movie version with Drew Barrymore and wanted to see the documentary behind the movie. I actually thought it was sad and really saw the abuse that shaped Edie Beale into the person she became. Worth seeing if you know a little about the background of the characters. Good to see after the Hollywood version.
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on March 29, 2016
Really well-made documentary before reality TV was a thing. Think of how groundbreaking it was to get an inside peek into someone's house and daily life in 1975. The filmmakers depicted the insane and endearing qualities of the Beales in equal measure. Grey Gardens is truly riveting, but the relentlessness of the Edies' talking over one another throughout the film drove me bonkers. I imagine the Maysles brothers intended for viewers to feel anxious and nervous at certain parts, so I can't base my rating on that, but it will be a while before I watch it again. I'm sure I could get more and more out of repeat viewings, but the constant bickering was so annoying that I have to gear myself up for it. Still a five-star review.
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on November 9, 2012
I come from a long background of it...therefore, watching Mrs. Beale and her daughter was like going home for Thanksgiving dinner....! The eccentricities abound, as well as moments of sheer poignance, such as the oft-mentioned moment when Edie Jr. feed the coons bread and cat food in the attic, while they dine elegantly upon the Campbells Soup they have delivered from the local market, in the one room they have sequestered themselves to. It must have been morbidly humiliating to the likes of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and her sister Lee Radziwell to have these skeletons in their socio-closet/s...but, damn! After this documentary was made, the house was brought up to reasonable standards by Jacqueline and Lee (and God knows, they could afford it). Good nieces...(I guess) is a story of brilliance with a destructive bent...beauteous and mortifying. Decay in the garden of Eden.
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on December 1, 2013
Very interesting insight into quite a few things that we almost never get to see in movies- These two movies provide us with a glimpse into the day- to- day life of what it is like to live with a certain form of mental illness, as well as how misunderstood this kind of mental illness is- I'm a layperson, I have zero (0) medical knowledge, I'm not going to attempt to come up with a specific name for what the late Edith Beale Sr. and the late Edith Beale Jr. were suffering from, but we rarely see this kind of insight into what it is like to live with it- People seem like these two movies, the original "Grey Gardens" from 1975, plus the 2006 sequel which was pieced together with footage which was cut from the original movie for various reasons- One interpretation, which I think that a lot of people missed with this movie is that if you actually pay close attention to how Edith Beale Sr. and Edith Beale Jr. were living, you'll notice that there exists almost nothing whatsoever within our society which can actually be of much use to them- Because these two women were wealthy, and because they were cousins of the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis, they managed to avoid hospitals or mandatory counseling, and they were able to keep their mansion in Suffolk County, N.Y.- And while yes, these two women would clearly have been even worse off if they had not been part of a wealthy family, this movie also shows us that if you're living with certain forms of mental illness, there are also a lot of problems which having access to a lot of money does not actually solve at all- Because these two women were from a wealthy family, they did have a roof over their heads (albeit a roof with holes in it large enough for raccoons to enter into and out from) and they did not starve themselves to death (although it is very obvious that the diet that these two women were living on was leaving them severely malnourished), there was still nothing whatsoever in existence which would enable them to adjust to living in the modern world, to working, being able to take care of their own health, or integrating into the world around them in any healthy capacity....

Warning- if you're in a good mood, these two movies will bring you out of a good mood, and if you're in a bad mood, these two movies will end up making you feel even worse, but these two documentaries are extremely well done, many thanks to the Maysles brothers for showing us a glimpse into things we almost never get to see in movies or on television, or read about ....
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on April 12, 2013
I saw all the dvd's on the Edies. I felt so bad for the both of them but was so happy when I heard that little Edie finally got away. My heard dropped when I heard she died. I wish it was done sooner. This woman was a dreamer and her personality was infecting. I when she spoke she made you feel what she was feeling. She brought me back to those glamor days. She was like a naïve beautiful woman that had been shut up in a castle until she was rescued by her knights in shining armor. I am so glad that she was able to live out her dream in her last days. I had not feeling for elder Edie except that she passed on. I don't like to hear when anyone dies. Little Edie sure can improvise with her clothing. I think she was frozen in her time. I loved to hear her talk. She reminded me of all those old movies I saw and all those glamour women of those day. God Bless the Edie's

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on December 17, 2014
We peek into the house and lives of the "two Edies", which is not a house but a decrepit manor which the cats have taken over. I cannot imagine the stench in that home, and the real tension between these two. Is this what happens when men leave? How do these to women live like this, stuck in a time warp, in memories, in solitude, in regret. This is a sad story which left me feeling heavy and melancholic, wondering why people do not have more will to live a better life...
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on August 18, 2016
Wow..I watched the HBO movie and really liked it. I wanted to watch this documentary to see how true the acting was. Wow!! The acting in the movie was great. This documentary is almost hard to watch because these women clearly had mental issues. But it is very interesting. I do recommend watching the HBO movie fist so you know the whole backstory..otherwise you will be very confused...
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on December 1, 2017
Like a slow motion train wreck this documentary is one you can't take your eyes off. the Beales are nuts, but they are so engaging and eccentric that you go from appalled to sympathetic to amused all in the same frame. The film was interesting since it gave us a glimpse of the pre-crazy days when the Beales were part of NY society, but the documentary is the source material and a must-watch.
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on December 31, 2017
Everyone should see this, really, and then follow it up with the mockumentary version on "Documentary Now" season 1 episode 1 on Netflix. Eccentricity has never been more tragic or funny.
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on October 29, 2011
This movie/ documentary is difficult to review because viewers tend to fall into three categories: those who love it, those who hate it, and those who don't get it at all. I LOVED it and have watched both discs several times, each time noting something new and interesting that I missed before.
I felt a bit like a voyeur watching the Beales. Even though the women were clearly aware that they were being filmed, it seemed as though they were revealing too much of themselves. One of the criticisms of the movies is that the filmmakers took advantage of two women by exploiting them in the film. While the Beales were certainly odd and a bit reclusive, I would not call them insane or incapable of consenting to be filmed. Maybe it's that fine line between eccentricity and insanity that fascinates me.
There are lots of plot lines, which make describing the movie difficult: the downfall of two wealthy women into poverty; the strained, co- dependent, yet loving relationship between mother and daughter; regret, blame and lost chances; a person's right to go against the grain; people who are so isolated that they have created their own world. (Where else can you find a presumably bald scarf wearing woman who uses her sweaters as skirts, is in need of money but pins those same scarves with expensive brooches, and uses a magnifying glass to read books?)
I was left with questions and yet I'm not frustrated, I'm even more fascinated. Why did they retire to the mansion, Grey Gardens, instead of selling it to move into a more modest home? Why didn't Little Edie ever marry? What was their relationship with males in the family and why didn't either man step in? Most importantly, how did they go from wealthy socialites to people comfortable with living in the squalor of a house overrun with cats and raccoons that chewed through the roof and walls?
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