Flooding Susie’s Inbox

May 1, 2009

Mutha Dahling

Filed under: Uncategorized — sashyjane @ 5:43 pm

Have you seen Grey Gardens? It’s a new movie on HBO staring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore about the eccentric aunt and cousin of Jackie O.  Fascinating!

I’ve always found myself oddly drawn to stories about crazy and ridiculous human beings (it’s why I love Dog the Bounty Hunter so much) so this movie was a natural draw.  The characters are so crazy and irresistably grotesque that you can’t stop watching! As soon as the movie was over, I ran to the computer and researched as much as I possibly could about them.

In the film adaptation, Edie Bouvier Beale was an aspiring singer married to a wealthy businessman.  They had three children: one girl and two boys.  Her daughter, Little Edie, wanted to be an actress and was determined to be a star. After the Beales’ divorce and Little Edie’s failed attempts at stardom, the mother and daughter pair became recluses in their beach home in the Hamptons (named Grey Gardens.) They lived here for years in squalor and disrepair.

Unfortunately for both Edies, they only became famous when the Maysle brothers were filming a documentary about Big Edie’s niece, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.  The Maysles discovered Big and Little Edie’s pitiful state and decided to film a documentary about them.  Horribly embarrassed by her relatives’ plight, Jackie O and her husband Ari Onassis, cleaned up and repaired Grey Gardens (though not to its original splendor) by removing feral cats and raccoons and 1,000 bags of garbage.  The Edies refused to let  Grey Gardens be sold or torn down. After Big Edie’s death, Little Edie left Grey Gardens and attempted a cabaret career.

Perhaps the most notable thing about them was their appearance.  Clumps of Little Edie’s hair would fall out whenever she was stressed so she went bald at a relatively young age and began wearing scarves over her head in addition to her fur coats and oddly paired ensembles.  Here’s a picture of the real Edies:grey-gardens1 More information can be found here.

Here’s a picture of Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore: drew and jessica

And this is the link to the HBO version of the movie.

I’m not typically a Drew Barrymore fan (mostly because I don’t like the way she talks!) but she is incredible in this movie and completely transforms herself for this film! This is a must-see and if you don’t have HBO, go visit a friend who does because I have a feeling you’ll become fascinated with the Edies too!

I want to see the original documentary now.  I bet it’s incredible.

You MUST visit here for the most fascinating tour of Grey Gardens from the ’30s to the present.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] It’s easy to see why the magical and tragic look of the ruins was so fascinating to an imaginative 8th grader and I think my love for Dungeness may have sparked my ongoing interest in all things tragically beautiful.  I’ve since been drawn to Eudora Welty books, deteriorating barns and buildings and most recently, Grey Gardens. […]

    Pingback by Current Obsession « Flooding Susie’s Inbox — June 25, 2009 @ 9:19 am


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