April 20, 2009

Grey Gardens

Yesterday I watched the Grey Gardens documentary and today I watched the, just released, HBO movie. I am fascinated and feel completely sad for those two women. In case you aren't familiar, Edith Beale was Jacqueline Kennedy's aunt and little Edie was her first cousin. These two women lived alone at Grey Gardens, their country home in East Hampton, in seclusion from the outside world for years. It's amazing that Jackie Kennedy's own family could live this way and no one really ever intervened. Their once beautiful home had become deplorable and they lived amongst raccoons, tons of cats and piles of garbage in (LSD induced) harmony. lol

I wonder if they would make sense to people who were drunk or stoned. Hmm...

Some may call these two eccentric, but it's apparent they both suffer from some form of mental illness, probably schizophrenia. My guess is that they only had eachother for so long that they drove eachother crazy...literally. No offense, but these two bitches are crazier than Cooter Brown with a crack pipe. I'm talking bat-shit crazy.

The tragedy of the documentary and movie lies with little Edie, who left her hopes and dreams in New York, to care for her lonely mother and she never left. Edith obviously guilted Edie into caring for her and therefore, Edie gave in and never married or lived the life she'd always wanted. The love and resentment little Edie has for her mother is apparent, however sometimes it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. I suppose that is what happens when you only ever have one person in your life.

Edith was a well known singer in her time and little Edie always wanted to be an actress or dancer. It's clearly evident that the both of them lived completely in their pasts and with much regret of lost loves, opportunities and dreams. I believe they were too frightened of what the future may hold that they clung to the past and allowed everything around them fall to pieces, including themselves. It's very sad.

Little Edie suffered from alopecia from a young age, hence the scarves on her head. I couldn't help but wonder why no one ever bought her a nice wig. They had an occasional visitor here and there, but even the visitors seemed uncomfortable in the home and in their presence. It's like watching a train wreck. You can't take your eyes away, no matter how bad it is.

Crazy or not, these two women are fascinating to watch. They are so detached from reality and you can't help but feel a little more sane every minute you watch. It's quite the ego booster. Drew Barrymore did a fantastic job playing Little Edie. Sometimes I'd forget it was her because she perfected her speech, idiosyncrasies and movements. The most heartbreaking part of the movie for me was when Edie attended the premiere of the documentary, and somewhere in her sick mind she finally felt like she got a big Hollywood break and was a star. They never got it. It's all very sad, you understand. (As Edie would say) It's a good movie and documentary.

Here is a small piece from the documentary. This should sum up these two fairly well.