“Grey Gardens” aired on HBO in 2009. (same year The Hangover came out) It received universal acclaim from critics and viewers alike. Grey Gardens became an eligible nominee at “The Primetime Emmy Awards,” “Screen Actors Guild” & “The Golden Globes.” Both Drew Barrymore & Jessica Lange earned their awards.
I first heard of this movie back in when I was a junior in high school taking literature and theater courses. I’m gonna admit, I wasn’t fully aware this is based on real life people. A documentary from 1975 actually exists. As a fan of “American Horror Story” or AHS for short, an upcoming 10th season will air on FX as well as streaming on Hulu. Despite Jessica Lange not returning, I thought about sharing what’s good about this particular biographical drama.
This review contains no SPOILERS. I’m giving y’all a chance to see this biographical film. Keep in mind this a short review. It’s not a very expensive epic like “Avatar” or a rewatchable complex psychological thriller as in “Memento.” Just a one and done biographical film.
Beautiful & Ugly Aspects
Beautiful: Drew Barrymore & Jessica Lange both did an excellent job for their respective performances. In addition to portraying Little Edie, Drew served as an executive producer courtesy of her production company, Flower Films.
Other Cast Members such as Daniel Baldwin & Jeanne Tripplehorn both did a good job for their respective performances.
Cinematography didn’t suffer from a bad case of Shaky Cam.
Prosthetic Makeup transform Drew & Jessica into their characters. I barely recognize their faces.
Chemistry between Big Edie & Little Edie serves as the main highlight. Their relationship moves the story forward.
The movie shifts between past and then present time period The 70s. Two people film a documentary about the pair related to Jackie Kennedy living in a decaying mansion filled with trash, numerous pets, lack of food and water. They’re life story is told in riches to rags. The opposite of rages to riches.
According to Drew, she immersed herself as Little Edie temporarily becoming a recluse towards her peers. She also watched the documentary to match Little Edie’s mannerisms and accent. I’m relieved her lisp isn’t used. I can’t stand her lisp, because she sounds like Bill Murray in “Caddyshack.”
Primary Themes are Social Class, Poverty, Ambition, Family, Isolation, Loyalty & Regret. Each theme is handled maturely.
The titular mansion is located in The Hamptons.
Costume Designs were made to reflect Big Edie & Little Edie personalities.
A “Where Are They Now” caption reveals what happened to both Edies.
The End Credits shows Little Edie singing.
Ugly: I couldn’t find anything wrong. I’m giving the cast and crew and Extra Point for making a flawless film as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
From my point of view, Grey Gardens is a masterpiece. This is without a doubt, Drew Barrymore’s best performance. I would’ve liked to see her in serious roles like working with my idol Christopher Nolan. Well that’s just me. If you have nothing to do all week, I strongly recommend Grey Gardens. If you love documentaries, give the 1975 documentary film a try. There’s also a Broadway show if you’re a huge fan of musicals.