Grey Gardens

grey gardens little edie

I watched the brilliant Maysles brothers ‘Grey Gardens’ again last weekend and I’m wondering if the people behind the new film watched it with the sound off, because if they had heard it they would never be making another film about the Beales. Which brought on my complaining about it in conversation and why Hollywood always feels the need to suck the life out of everything. My mom thinks it’s a lack of good material these days – maybe she’s right. The extraordinary aspect of the original is that it’s real and true, anything less is just that. Remakes are only worth pursuing if the original idea of something was strong but the initial execution was bad right? Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edie were true originals in every sense of the word. Little Edie was very much against someone portraying them in a film because as she correctly reasoned, who could portray them better than they could? The Maysles’ film is at times sad, amusing, fascinating and distressing. They lived in a world of their own making and although it was far less than ideal, at times I think they did seem happy. I love when they break out in song or quote some piece of literature or poetry. Through it’s impossible not to feel bad for their lost opportunities – I guess it’s not unusual really – doesn’t everyone have a list of those? It’s sad that some people looked down on them just because they didn’t live out their lives according to the normal blueprint. I think they were two truly original women who were brave enough to let the world see them – really see them.


One thought on “Grey Gardens

  1. Beth – I think I screwed up and erased your comment, I’m sorry – not feeling great today. I think you would really like the documentary – quite unique. I got it out of the library. L

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