“Grey Gardens”: Our Review

greygardens_252x190Friend of LemonWade Tom Steele, soon to start writing about food for us, watched last night’s premiere of “Grey Gardens,” and filed this report: ‘Having watched the original Maysles brothers’ 1975 documentary countless times, I have no idea what someone who had never seen it would make of the new HBO film, “Grey Gardens.” But I felt the same way about the 2006 Broadway musical adaptation. Both works showcased spot-on impersonations of both Edith Beales, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; in fact, the incarnations of the mother and daughter as performed by Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange (pictured) have an almost ghoulish veracity. But the movie is more than a wax-museum reenactment: the script and the actresses delve into their characters’ complex codependent relationship with an unsparing emotional ferocity. The original 1975 documentary is especially compelling because the filmmakers refused to exploit the Beales or judge their relationship. It was left to viewers to make of the material what they would. As remarkable as the performances are, that restraint is nowhere to be found in either the musical or the HBO movie. Still, the film amounts to a highly absorbing two hours. But now: enough! Leave the late Beales in peace.’

One Comment to ““Grey Gardens”: Our Review”

  1. Spot on impersonations. Although nothing can compare with the original documentary and the interactions between this mother and daughter this is as close as anyone can attempt. This adaptation, thankfully, did not leave me “pulverized”….

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