Grey Gardens (1975)
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The unbelievable but true story of Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Mother and daughter live in a world of their own behind the towering privets that surround their decaying 28-room East Hampton mansion known as "Grey Gardens," a place so far gone that the local authorities once threatened to evict them for violating building and sanitation codes. Mrs. Beale, a.k.a. "Big Edie," was born an aristocrat, sister of "Black Jack" Bouvier, Jackie O's father. "Little Edie" was an aspiring actress of striking beauty who put her New York life on hold to care for her mother--and never left her side again. Together they descended into a strange life of dependence and eccentricity that none had ever shared until the Maysles Brothers arrived with their camera and tape recorder in hand. … More
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Critic Reviews for Grey Gardens
There is something unseemly in the choice to document the Beales at all.
[VIDEO] "Grey Gardens" plays like an all too real version of "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" It is a backdoor view into of New York's 20th century aristocracy.
A newly struck print of the [Maysles] brothers' 1976 classic Grey Gardens proves that their work is still plenty provocative--and especially so in this era of shallow celebrity docs.
Borderline exploitative. But the stark power of the dual portrait can't be denied.
An editor's exercise: take footage shot 30 years ago for another film, and edit it into a new movie
Grey Gardens became a cult film in the '70s, when mavericks and outsiders were the heroes and heroines and the Beales were valued for their alternative world and their priceless eccentricity.
No film - no Tennessee Williams adaptation, nothing by Guy Maddin or Lynch, no genre-exploding Japanese horror flick - has ever had a stranger pair of characters at its core.
The film's real fascination, however, does not come through some morbid freak show angle but in its study of this strangely symbiotic relationship.
At first blush, the film may seem like an invitation to mockery, but the more one uncovers of the vast history of the Beales at Grey Gardens, the more the film becomes a monument to the fiercely independent nature of these two staunch characters.
An endearing and impromptu sociological study
There's an undeniable skill on The film feels pretty exploitative, even as the Beales insist that it's not exploiting them at all.
Audience Reviews for Grey Gardens
One of the best portrayals of a relationship committed to film that I've ever seen. A strong testament to both the liberating power and the imprisoning isolation of divorcing oneself from present reality. Staunch characters indeed.More
Edith Beale and her daughter "little Edie," relatives of Jackie Kennedy, live in a decaying mansion in the Hamptons littered with garbage; now in her 50s, the delusional little Edie takes care of her shrewish mother while dreaming of getting married and becoming a professional dancer. Who knew "No Exit" was a documentary?More
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