In 1973, documentary filmmaking brothers Albert Maysles and David Maysles decide to change the focus of their latest project from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to her aunt and older cousin, mother and daughter Edith Bouvier Beale - called Big Edie - and Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, who were found living in squalor and isolation in the longtime family mansion, Grey Gardens, in East Hampton, New York. Through flashbacks starting in 1936, the path mother and daughter take from their socialite past to the time that the Mayles brothers show their completed film is shown. Big Edie's husband/Little Edie's father, Phelan Beale, controlled the family money, which included providing singing lessons to Big Edie with musician Gould Strong, with who she had more than a musical interest. Big Edie saw herself as a singer, first and foremost. Mother and father also controlled Little Edie's life, they who wanted her to stay at Grey Gardens rather than pursue her dream of becoming a professional ...Written by
As pianist and music teacher George "Gould" Strong, Malcolm Gets's costume includes a diamond ring. It's actually the ring Edith Beale gave Strong in real life. Strong's relatives lent the ring to the film's production crew. See more »
Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange are so good it is SCARY!
I have NEVER publicly commented on a feature performance until now. Having seen the 1975 documentary about Edith and Edie Beale, I was absolutely blown away by the exacting performances--especially Drew Barrymore. I noticed a few comments dissing the film and it's rather obvious these people don't know the storyline. Jessica and Drew WERE their characters to perfection--a not-so-trivial accomplishment. I knew Lange could act but Drew perhaps has certainly lived up to her family lineage!!! ! Take it for what it's worth: this is a non-fiction account of a most dysfunctional family, parental control, character disorders, being a victim, and reluctant realization of unfulfilled dreams. Little Edie, with all her psychiatric shades, is accurately portrayed by Drew Barrymore. Jessica Lange as the spoiled, controlling mother, sort of sums it all up by telling her daughter that she's not easily likable or attractive with "...Edie ... you are more of an acquired taste". Yet, the bizarre paradox of their relationship is simple. Edie is filled with too much fear to go out into the world and the two really need each other. Call it pathological complementarity. This film works at every level!
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