View the trailer for the new HBO film here:
Grey Gardens has been remade by HBO,
starring the inevitably cute and vulnerable Drew Barrymore. I have formed a profound attachment to the original 1975 film, depicting a documentary of the real, everyday lives of Edith “Big Edie” Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale. This society mother and daughter unit are both crazy and complicated, living in squalor and isolation in their dilapidated East Hampton mansion. Amongst the house guests were dozens of cats, raccoons and possoms.
To get a flavour of the original view this excerpt on YouTube:
The original 1975 Grey Gardens documentary:
The recent remake is an awkward
one to appraise due to my love for the former version. Barrymore’s interpretation of Little Edie is decidedly dicey and her annoying faux-drawl is unfortunately off-putting and strained.
On occasion it is difficult to suspend disbelief and not see Barrymore as cringe-worthy. There is also a disappointing scene where Jackie O makes a cameo and delivers a lament to living in a gilded cage. However on the whole, the movie is worthy of being added to the DVD collection.
The two women were American royalty
due to their being aunt and first cousin to Jacky Kennedy/Onassis. Their stories of grandeur and high society and their parading around in couture gowns whilst singing and divulging gossip about the courting of high profile suitors such as Howard Hughes and John Paul Getty, who asked to marry Little Edie is jaw-droppingly compelling.
In terms of impact,
Grey Gardens has had an immense influence on the fashion industry since it’s original 1975 conception. The infamous documentary, showed two extraordinary women and their quirky eccentricities that have since become fashion icons, drawing acclaim from the industry in raptured fascination and admiration of their unique, individual style. Harpers, Vogue (et al) have all created photographic layouts inspired by the women’s “alternative” lifestyle.
The enduring (although resentful) relationship
between these too complex women is profoundly inspiring. Their connection and understanding of each other’s strange existence is deep and all-consuming. They are each other’s world, and have consequently been adopted as gay-icons due to the community belief that they were living on the fringes of society and were judged by ignorance and prejudice. Although their comical individuality; (was) like a breath of fresh air amid America’s society staid, sameness.