I vaguely remember, as a kid, being aware of a scandal involving Jackie Onassis’s relatives. I didn’t understand at the time the full situation, and in fact the only reason I was interested at all was because I thought Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Grace Kelley were the two most glamourous women in the world.
Some months ago on who knows what whim, I watched Grey Gardens, the original documentary by the Mayles brothers. I was simultaneously repelled and enthralled. At the time I knew nothing whatsoever about either Edith Beale. After watching the documentary, I did a little research and was interested enough to add the HBO film starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore to my Netflix queue.
Well, last night I finally got around to watching it. Drew Barrymore outperformed any role she has ever done. She was amazing. I can’t emphasize that enough–utterly and completely amazing. Jessica Lange was brilliant as well, but my fascination lay with Little Edie. I understood, in a way that the original documentary didn’t quite show, how trapped Little Edie was by her mother, her father, and her dreams. I’m glad that she got the opportunity to perform in a cabaret, and travel, and get away from the oppressive atmosphere at Grey Gardens.
I was also impressed with the woman who played Jackie Onassis. Her initial reaction to the stench inside the house was quickly replaced with the graciousness that exemplified her life, as she gently shared her memories with her cousin.
If you have any questions as to whether Drew Barrymore can act, you’ve got to watch this film.