Grey Gardens is an HBO film about the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale/"Little Edie", played by Drew Barrymore, and her mother Edith Ewing Bouvier/"Big Edie", played by Jessica Lange. Co-stars include Jeanne Tripplehorn as Jacqueline Kennedy (Little Edie's cousin) and Ken Howard as Phelan Beale. The film, directed by Michael Sucsy and co-written by Sucsy and Patricia Rozema, flashes back and forth between various events and dates ranging from Little Edie as a young débutante in 1936 moving with her mother to their Grey Gardens estate through the filming and premiere of the actual 1975 documentary Grey Gardens.
The film is based on the life stories of the eccentric paternal aunt and first cousin of Jackie Onassis, both named Edith Bouvier Beale. The Beale women were members of NYC high society, but in their later years, withdrew from the New York City life, taking shelter at their Long Island summer home/estate Grey Gardens.
Phelan Beale (husband of "Big Edie" and father of "Little Edie"), eventually divorced "Big Edie". "Little Edie" decides to move to New York to pursue a career in acting (as well as an ill-fated romance with a high-profile married man). "Little Edie" sadly and slowly realizes her fate is to remain her mother's companion at Grey Gardens. The two women become reclusive and known around town as the highly eccentric proprietors of Grey Gardens, which has become decrepit and full of stray animals taken in by the Beale women. It includes the filming of the documentary Grey Gardens by Albert and David Maysles and events in the Beales' past including their arrival at the estate, the disintegration of Big Edie's marriage, Little Edie's failed attempts to have her own life, and events subsequent to the premiere of the documentary.
The film won the 2009 Television Critics Association award for Outstanding Achievement Movies, Miniseries, and Specials. It was also nominated for 17 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning Outstanding Made for Television Movie, Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (Lange) and Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (Howard). It was also nominated for 3 Golden Globe Awards, winning Best Made for Television Movie and Best Actress in a Made for Television Movie (Barrymore). Lange was nominated in the same category, but lost to Barrymore.
Read the review of the movie HERE.
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