Mr. Peacock saw a preview showing, last night, of the new HBO dramatization of Grey Gardens—True Glamour Never Fades (Thanks Doug!) This dramatization, by HBO Films and directed by Michael Sucsy, tells the story of Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier Beale (Jessica Lange) and her daughter Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale (Drew Barrymore)—the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
Mind you, Mr. Peacock has always had an obsession with the ladies of Grey Gardens, but I had serious trepidations about this HBO project when I heard Drew Barrymore was cast as Little Edie—could she pull it off? Don’t get me wrong, I love Drew, but she’s played the same character film after film. Well I have to say, I was blown away by her performance in this touching and poignant dramatization of Grey Gardens. Bravo Drew!
It took a few minutes for me to believe that she was Little Edie, but then it just clicked—the accent, the mannerisms, the alopisha, everything. Of course, Jessica Lange’s performance was sublime as Big Edie. I was also anxious to see Jeanne Tripplehorn’s performance as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She was good, but her portrayal didn’t wow me.
This HBO story weaves flashbacks of Big Edie and Little Edie, starting in 1936, with the Maysles Brother’s filming their documentary (which inspired this film and the Broadway show) at Grey Gardens.
The sets, costumes, and aging make-up were brilliant. Drew’s make-up as Little Edie was so precise, right down to the freckles and little teeth. The flashback scenes to the 1930’s had wonderful set decoration and beautiful costumes.
Above: The original trailer for the Maysles Brother's 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens.
Overall, Grey Gardens—True Glamour Never Fades, was fantastic. If you have HBO, don’t miss it this Saturday night, and if you don’t have HBO, find a friend that does—but don’t miss it. Check out the Grey Gardens fan site here. And by all means, if you haven’t seen the Maysles Brother’s cult classic,1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, Netflix it right now! Has anyone seen The Beales of Grey Gardens?