Grey Gardens

Saturday, April 25, 2009

'It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present...'

As a fan of the Maysles Brothers' documentary I was wary of the new HBO adaptation. I’m often disappointed by biographies and a film that was said to flash back and forth between 'Little' Edith Bouvier Beale's life as a young girl and the classic documentary seemed like a stretch. But I was happily wrong and completely taken in by the movie when I watched it today!

(It premiered last Saturday, April 18th)

Both Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange were fascinating to watch as the Beale women, almost as fascinating as the actual Beales. They did such a good job of bringing the dysfunctional yet very close bond between the two to life. Anna (my sister) who watched it with me, said she even forgot it was Barrymore and Lange.

Amazing prosthetics, both were completely transformed to look very much the way the Beale women looked in the documentary.

Costumes were lovely. From the visionary fashions that little Edie is now famous for to the retro attire they would sport when it would flash back to their youth.

Appropriately, their home was also a huge presence. Going back and forth between the early days, when the East Hampton mansion would be presented as beautiful and nicely decorated to the elegant ramshackle mess it later became. Also, as fans of Grey Gardens know we can’t forget the cats when writing about the house. I love cats, but after watching the film I realized how important it is to keep a tidy home and limit the number of pets you have. Fear. Hope I don’t become an eccentric cat lady in my old age.

Frame and scene from the 1975 documentary:

Sources: Most photos are from *Here* and *Here*. Information on the HBO film can be found *Here* and the 1975 documentary *Here*.


If you watched the first video you might have heard the song 'We Belong Together' towards the end? Did you like it as much as I did? If so, you can go *Here* to play or download it. Song is performed by Leo Reisman and His Orchestra (1932), written by Oscar Hammerstein II and with music composed by Jerome Kern.


Diana said...

This looks intense and I can't wait to watch it.

ana b. said...

How utterly gorgeous is this blog? I am so happy that I discovered it. You've been linked.

I heard that Drew Barrymore fought really hard for this role because the director believed she was a bit commercial for it. Anyway, I can see her style in the movie completely influencing the way she's been dressing lately. It's gorgeous!

Tina { Luphia Loves... } said...

this looks great, can't wait to see it!

P R I M O E Z A said...

i really have to get a copy of the original film - i've heard so much about it, and also interesting to read your comments on the remake.
and yes, cleaning up after pets is a very important task!

Couture Carrie said...

Love these vintage pics - can't wait to see the film!


Rebecca said...

I've been seeing so much about this, and I haven't even seen the original documentary!! I'm going to have to catch up. :) Everything about this looks intriguing...

P.S. I will definitely let you know when the cuff links make it into my shop! :)

Keith said...

This looks wonderful. I definitely wanna see it. Great writeup and pictures on it. Hope you've had a fantastic weekend. Cheers!

miriam said...

i love this post and how you put it all together!

had plans to watch GG last night with my sister but instead i ended up having a bbq on my balcony. next weekend i hope!

Sam said...

Woweee! What a gorgeous, gorgeous post! I remember these two were in the paper a few years back and I was fascinated by the story. Can't wait to see this - I really like Drew Barrymore as I've decided I admire her old school prettiness and the way she dresses up for red carpet events! Thank you again Gabbi for your super lovely blogging!

Merylu said...

Hi Gabbi! Thank you so much for the award =)
I love Drew Barrymore, I think she's a great actress. =)
And I think I'll like this movie when I'll watch it (I hope it will come here in Italy too!).
Yes, I like that song too! Now I need to have it =)


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

Maya@Completely Coastal said...

Great post. I loved the HBO movie..., and actually didn't know about the two at all before. I'd love to find out where Eddie lived in Bal Harbour, but so far no luck.

Gabbi said...

~ Less intense than the original documentary but really was surprisingly good. Hope you like it Diana… today I’m printing my pinhole camera out! :)

~ I’m honored dear Ana! I love your ‘Deer’ award design by the way. You’re a creative genius. Drew has been looking great lately hasn’t she? I love seeing someone who is close to my age looking so glamorous and pretty. I will definitely be linking your blog. Thank you. xo

~ The home décor and wardrobe is great in it dear Tina, you’d like it I think! Hope you had a nice weekend… *besos*

~ Couldn’t agree more Primoeza, I actually went home and cleaned that evening…hehe… Wish I had a copy of the original also. I get completely lost in it.

~ Thank you dear CC! xox I hope you like it as much as I did. *bises*

~ I love those cuff links Rebecca, please do keep me informed! I hope you like the films, you might find yourself wanting tons of things in the film, from the clothing of course to the home furnishings themselves. Classic vintage styling.

~ You’re so kind Keith, thank you! I look forward to your posts. Your blog is extremely cool. Hope you had a nice weekend. xo

~ Your BBQ sounds nice Miriam. Isn’t it great that the weather is warming up again? Hope you like the film as much as I did when you see it!

~ You’re so sweet dear Sam… Thank you!!! As you know I’m a huge fan of your artwork so it’s always flattering… xo Hope you had a nice weekend and wishing you a lovely new week.

~ Happy you liked the award dear Mary, adorable isn’t it! I love Drew too :) Hope you liked the song…*bises*

~ Thank you so much for the comment dear Gardens. How incredible to have met little Edie in person and to have actually developed a relationship with her. I’m so happy you sent me a link to your blog and video!

~ Thank you Maya! Your blog is such a lovely escape. If you ever find out where she lived please do pass the information on. I’d love to see and read more about it. xo

Couture Carrie said...

P.S. Love your new blog background!!


Gabbi said...

~ You're awesome, thank you CC!! xxoo

Dooder City said...

I cannot wait to see this. I do not have HBO but I have it in my Netflix line.

Anonymous said...

Loved the movie... I am glad I got a chance to see documentary first. It was amazing to see how into character Drew and Jessica were absorbed.
You have a lovely blog....

sauvageblue said...

Loved the movie... I am glad I got a chance to see documentary first. It was amazing to see how into character Drew and Jessica were absorbed.
You have a lovely blog....

Anonymous said...

Loved the movie... I am glad I got a chance to see documentary first. It was amazing to see how into character Drew and Jessica were absorbed.
You have a lovely blog....

Certain Creatures said...

Hi Gabbi!!
I'm looking forward to this movie- the pictures look so nice. You changed the background to the blog! It looks very pretty! ;)
I'm wearing your necklace very often these days.. it's so pretty and lots of my friends ask me where I got it! ;)

Rebecca said...

Hey, here's your heads up that the Dutch Girl cuff links are now in my Etsy shop!


sealaura said...


I am dying to see this but I do not have HBO! :( I loved your post though and hopefully it will be out on DVD soon.

Gabbi said...

~ Thank you dear Deana! Hope you like it as much as I did.xo

~ Great to hear I wasn’t the only one who liked it Cindy… It really did surprise me. I love your blog, thank you! Hope your week is going well. :)

~ I’m constantly changing my background aren’t I? I have a hard time making up my mind. :) That’s so awesome that you liked the necklace. I’m really flattered, especially with all those lovely creations of yours. I love your earrings and mini-mouse is still very much a favorite of mine. Thank you again Francesca! *bises*

~ Thank you Rebecca! I just bought them :) I really did wanted them... and the price was incredibly reasonable (suspect you did that for me?). So neat. Thank you again!xoxo

~ It’ll probably be even better on dvd dear Laura. Thank you! xo

ryder said...

cant wait to see the film!!! i already did research on the story! drew is excellent in this preview.

ally. said...

marvelous dearie - i'm dreadfully glad to've found your tip top treasure

Gabbi said...

~ Going to go read your post now, thank you dear Ryder!

~ Your blog is a treasure trove dear Ally! Merci…xo

Mary-Laure said...

I dont have HBO :(

Sorry I haven't gotten back to you regarding our lunch together. I have found out that I had to move out of place ASAP and have been frantically looking for a place... Nerve wrecking.

G said...

I will see this movie, it looks interesting

Gabbi said...

~ I don't have it either, my sister has it and whenever I want to see something on there I mooch off of her. I think it's going to be released on dvd very soon though? Please let me know if there's anything I can do or help with regarding the move!!

~ You might like it G, the soundtrack is very pretty.

michiko said...

Been hearing a lot about 'Grey Gardens' lately, I have to see both versions!
Thanks for letting me know about HBO version, almost impossible to get info on American TV films living in japan, I wonder if I get to see it in japan....

Gabbi said...

~ I think it’s going to be released on dvd very soon dear Michiko, it wasn’t released in theaters here. Only on cable television. You’ll love both films I’m sure!xo


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