Mother and daughter - Big Edie and Little Edie Beale - live with six cats in a crumbling house in East Hampton. Little Edie, in her 50s, who wears scarves and bright colors, sings, mugs for the camera, and talks to Al and David Maysles, the filmmakers. Big Edie, in her 70s, recites poetry, comments on her daughter's behavior, and sings "If I Loved You" in fine voice. She talks in short sentences; her daughter in volumes. The film is episodic: friends visit, there's a small fire in the house, Little Edie goes to the shore and swims. She talks about the Catholic Church. She's ashamed that local authorities raided the house because of all the cats. She values being different. Written by
Early in the film there is a conversation between Little Edie and the Maysles brothers in which they speculate on who might play the two Edies in a dramatized movie version of their lives. Little Edie says she doesn't want any actress to play her. Off screen, one of the Maysles brothers suggests Ethel Barrymore for the role of Big Edie. Ethel Barrymore was the great-aunt of actress 'Drew Barrymore', who ultimately played Little Edie in the 2009 dramatized movie Grey Gardens (2009). See more »
Albert Maysles and David Maysles took the unused footage from their 1975 documentary GREY GARDENS and came up with this new film. As with the first, we take a look at Big Edie and Little Edie, the relatives to Jackie Onassis who lived in an estate that was pretty much ran down and which they shared with a various of creatures including cats and raccoons. Having just watched the original film a few weeks before this, I was very familiar and it was still fresh in my mind. I don't think viewing the two so close hampered this film but at the same time I think it's clear that this one here isn't nearly as good. I think you could point to several different factors but for some reason I just kept saying to myself that this footage wasn't included in the original for a reason. That reason was probably that it simply wasn't all that interesting or at least it wasn't as interesting as what we got in the first movie. I thought GREY GARDENS was a pretty weird film because it really didn't seem to have a point other than to show how weird these people were. It at least had a structure to it but that's not the case here. It really does seem like the entire movie was just thrown together for the sake of the filmmakers having another picture for the credits. That's not to say that this is a bad movie but at the same time it really does feel as if you're watching 90-minutes worth of deleted scenes that you'd typically just see on a film's special features. Some of the highlights in this film include a sequence where a fire breaks out and you can see the damage in the original film but there it doesn't have an explanation. Another highlight is hearing the two ladies talk about their thoughts on the Catholic church and men in general. Fans of the first film will probably get the most out of this but the rest should certainly seek out the original first.
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