Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Grey Gardens—True Glamour Never Fades

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?


Paul Pincus said...

i can't wait!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

I can't wait to see's all I've been thinking about for weeks. How lucky that you got to see an early screening! Thanks for the clips...the countdown to Saturday night has begun!

jason said...

as a fellow GG lover(for about 10 years now)....I was skeptical at first too, but now I'm excited. I just have to try to make friends with someone with HBO now.

Oh, and I've seen THe Beales of Grey Gardens. I have it right next to my bed in fact :)

Mr. Bluehaunt said...

I am so excited! I have always said Drew has a "classic", old-movie sort of face.....I think she looks so much like her.

Mr. Peacock said...

I'll look forward to all of your critiques....
it's not a perfect film,
but I really liked it!

I was lucky to see the preview,
and so grateful too!

Drew looks amazing in all
of the 1930's fashions...
so beautiful and elegant.

I have to netflix
The Beales of Grey Gardens!

JAMES 3.0 said...

the beales of grey gardens is just okay. I can't WAIT for the HBO MOVIE!!!!!


The HBO film, starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lang is certainly a perfect tribute to both the original documentary and these two wonderful woman.
I was told right after filming of the HBO film wrapped up in the fall of 2007, that I would be blown away at the last scene, where Edie sings Tea For Two at Reno Sweeny, and I was ! I had supplied the film company with the only recording in existence of Edie singing the tune, only this wasn't from her actual performance at the club, but rather her singing it just for me at one of my many visits to Grey Gardens, more than 30 years ago. Drew sang it exactly, phrase for phrase as I have it on tape. Edie and I actually met that night at Reno Sweeny, and my relationship with Grey Gardens has now spanned over 3 decades. For our complete review, check out our blog at (HBO film review by Robb Brawn & Lee Arboreen), and be sure to check our Youtube video uploaded 4/18/09 the same day as the HBO film release. Click
GREY GARDENS PROMO to view the video

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