Director: Michael Sucsy
This 2009 film is not a remake of the doc but instead it helps the audience fill in what the doc didn’t show. Big Edie and Little Edie described their elaborate life style and spoke of their past. This film bought an image of what their lives could have been like.
Big Edie (Jessica Lange) was a wealthy mother of 3. She knew of her husband’s affair and couldn’t careless. All she wanted to was to sing and entertain her guest. We also got to meet the man who she really loved. He was the children’s piano teacher, George ‘Gould’ Strong (Malcolm Gets). Big Edie’s life seemed perfect until the divorce. She was okay for a little bit but times started to get hard and money started to dwindle. It seemed like she was just alone.
Little Edie (Drew Barrymore) on the other hand was working her way to the top! She was finding ways to be that singer/actress she always wanted to be. She had no desire to get married like her parents wanted her too. The only men who interested her were married men. However, her life started to go south once she moved back in with her mother. She blamed her mother on why her life didn’t turn out the way she wanted. We got to watch Little Edie’s mental state start to diminish and her hair started to fall out. It was sad to watch a young happy woman fall into depression. On a side note, Barrymore looked amazing in her 1920s/30s attire!
The film plugged in scenes from the doc which I thought was on point. Lange and Barrymore captured the personalities of the Edies and became them. The flow from the doc to the film was seamless. But of course, they reenacted scenes from the doc. But still it was great.
It was interesting to watch Sucsy’s take on what could have happened after the doc was shown to the Edies for the first time. Little Edie still blamed her mother and Big Edie saw no problems. After Little Edie stormed off, Big Edie realized she probably did keep her daughter away from the things she wanted to do. But when Little Edie came back she told her mother it wasn’t her fault and that she could have left Grey Gardens anytime she wanted. I also loved how the ending explained what happened to them after the Grey Gardens came out. I just wanted to know what happened to them.
Good movie. Probably something I’d watch once and I’m good.
My Rating: 6/10