Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gorgeous Decay

I watched the new HBO movie Grey Gardens this morning. I'd seen the original 1975 documentary a few years ago and was pretty skeptical of a new version and even more so when I heard Drew Barrymore would be playing Little Edie.

Thankfully, the film reveals even more about Little & Big Edie by filling in the gaps left in the documentary. (i.e. What happened to Big Edie's husband? How had Edie come to live with her mother again?). If anything the new film is perhaps too interested in a happy ending as we see Big Edie apologizing to her daughter for holding her back from a career on stage in New York.

Before the estate goes, literally, to the cats, we can see the grandeur of the Beale's home--here is the HBO set of the living room:

But alas, here is the after (this time for real):

There is some reason why this pair--and their dramatic decline--so fascinates the public. The loss of the dream? A cautionary tale of how not to survive an economic downturn?

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