Grey Gardens (1975)
Directed by Ellen Hoyde, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Muffie Meyer
No one understands the meaning of the word “eccentric” until she sees this film. Grey Gardens follows the everyday lives of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter of the same name, Edith Bouvier Beale, also known as “Little Edie.” They are the relatives of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis–the elder Ms. Beale was the sister of John “Black Jack” Bouvier, Ms. Kennedy’s father.
In 1917, Ms. Beale married Phelan Beale, a lawyer who worked at the law firm Bouvier and Beale. They had three children, two sons and one daughter. When the couple divorced in 1931, Ms. Beale remained in the 28-room estate Grey Gardens in East Hampton.
The younger Ms. Beale made the decision to move in with her mother in 1952. Twenty-three years later, Grey Gardens was released, a documentary that witnesses the two Edies day-to-day in their mansion, sunbathing on the porch, feeding raccoons in the attic, and singing along with records on the gramophone with arguments in between.
It is an interesting film that captures their isolated lives in the dilapidated mansion, a haunting reminder of their rich past. Grey Gardens is part of the Criterion Collection available on HuluPlus.