It had been a few years since I’d seen the great Maysles’ documentary, Grey Gardens. When I heard the HBO film with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange was showing, I didn’t really have a desire to see it. Wouldn’t the film be redundant? Released to DVD, I decided to give it a viewing.
I was surprised to learn that the film had a much broader scope, showing much of the years before the Maysles’ picked up their story. While the documentary was primarily post Jacqueline Bouvier restoration (I hope I’m remembering this right), the film shows the deterioration through flashbacks – admittedly a tired device, however interesting the subject.
Both leads nail the Beale’s. I’ve always thought Jessica Lange a great actor, but props to Drew here too. If you’re a fan of the doc, don’t be put off. This film won’t soil that experience.