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HBO Movie Preview: Grey Gardens

I've never understood how the ridiculously compelling 1975 documentary Grey Gardens ended up as a Broadway musical. (Given, I haven't seen it, but the whole concept seems wrong somehow.) But now that the trailer is out, I'm getting used to — maybe even fond of — the idea of Grey Gardens as an HBO movie starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.


Debuting on April 18, Grey Gardens reinterprets the raw slice-of-life captured so gracefully by the Maysles brothers, the documentarians behind Gimme Shelter. Like the documentary, the movie follows the funny, sad, bizarre, and baffling daily lives of "Big Edie" and "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale, aunt and first cousin to Jackie Onassis.

But while the documentary was haunting for its lack of background, explanation, or even captions, the movie offers glimpses into the women's past, so that we might actually learn how they ended up living in squalor in a decaying Hamptons mansion surrounded by countless cats. The Beales' story is so intriguing that after seeing the documentary, I wanted to know much more, so I'm encouraged that the movie might offer that. Also intrigued? Then watch the trailer when you read more.

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