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Drew Barrymore and Little Edie Welcome you to Grey Gardens


A promo for HBO's Grey Gardens has aired. The adaptation of the documentary about the reclusive cousins of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is coming at the end of March. I've screencapped a couple of shots for comparison — the HBO adaptation above, the original documentary below.

Barrymore talked to W about the role: "I was excited to bring my own pain to something. I mean, contrary to my happy-go-luckiness, I have so much darkness in there. Playing Edie, I felt like s---. I thought, I’m afraid beyond anything I’ve ever known. I’m miserable; I’m scared; I feel sick all the time. And I was like, Good! At least I have somewhere to put it. You know what? I’m not f---in’ happy all the time. I like making people feel good, but it was great not to have to please anybody. I was out there for myself and for her.”

Both clips, along with an Advocate tour of the house today, are AFTER THE JUMP...

It features Drew Barrymore (above) as Little Edie Beale (below), Jessica Lange as Big Edie, and Jeanne Tripplehorn as Jackie O.


Here's the promo:

And here's a clip of the original:

And The Advocate has a clip of what the house looks like today:

(clip sources)

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  1. I had my doubts,but this looks amazing.

    Posted by: sam | Mar 10, 2009 8:33:29 PM

  2. wow! Good first impression!

    Posted by: marco | Mar 10, 2009 8:47:11 PM

  3. Oh great. They're including Little Edie's curtain call at the New York Film Festival when the film premiered. I was there and it was an indelible moment.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 10, 2009 9:24:02 PM

  4. I understandmaking the musical version, which I really liked, because that's a musical. It adds a different emotional layer to the story.

    But why a fictionalized version of a documentary? Are we that braindead as a society (that is rhetorical) that we can't watch an actual documentary at this point...we need a Disneyfied, prettied-up, all-star modern version?

    Boo hiss.

    I love Little Edie.

    Posted by: paul c | Mar 10, 2009 10:30:42 PM

  5. This deserves a theatrical premiere. I hope it is released in theaters.

    Posted by: Andy | Mar 10, 2009 10:40:44 PM

  6. "I was excited to bring my own pain to something" ...and pass it along to all of you who know and love the documentary... and are pained at the thought of me appropriating a legendary piece of work and making it something (Barry)less.

    Posted by: A. Palled | Mar 10, 2009 11:38:19 PM

  7. Garbage. It was only good because it was real.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 10, 2009 11:39:15 PM

  8. To Paul C... do you have the same issue with MILK? Why not just watch The Times of Harvey Milk?

    Posted by: dave | Mar 10, 2009 11:55:30 PM

  9. Sorry, but this is I am Sam with chicks instead of Penn. Its a classic LA conceit -- to think there is anything ironic about spoofing tragedy. Not funny. Not Baby Jane.

    Posted by: crazy not funny | Mar 11, 2009 12:05:16 AM

  10. I had my doubts about this project - but I have to say that this little trailer won me over. Didn't think Drew could pull it off, but she looks and SOUNDS terrific. (I wasn't worried about Jessica - she can do anything).

    For those who pooh-pooh the mere existence of this film, well, don't watch it! You might think the Beals' story is a 'tragedy', but I have always seen it as uplifting... they lived how they liked, and screw the nasty little Republican town!

    Posted by: Roy | Mar 11, 2009 12:22:19 AM

  11. Sorry... I meant 'Beale's'.
    Take away my gaycard!

    Posted by: Roy | Mar 11, 2009 12:26:38 AM

  12. Can I just be the first to say that Jeanne Tripplehorn as Jackie O is inspired casting!

    Posted by: Matthew | Mar 11, 2009 12:58:54 AM

  13. Oh dear god, the charmless, rather unpleasant (I know whereof I speak, wink wink), certainly self-absorbed Barrymore bint reveals where her focus is with that glorious total of FIFTEEN First Person Singulars in the space of a short paragraph, not to mention the 'my' and 'myself' she throws in, no doubt not in the least concerned that her prospective audience is in danger of succumbing to Drew-engendered catatonia, prompted by her endless self-referential tirade. Please someone, anyone, replace all of Barrymore's appearances with a decently competent British actress, a breed who never seem to want to talk about their own "pain" and "darkness" but about the quality of script, direction, costume, camera, etc etc. In other words, professionals, not whining, talentless little brats. Oh, just tell the awful little cow to shut the fuck up.

    Posted by: iain | Mar 11, 2009 4:47:17 AM

  14. Why the fuck do they have to (needlessly) remake EVERYTHING??
    Is nothing sacred, is nothing fine just the way it is?

    I mourn for Grey Gardens :(

    Posted by: Chaq | Mar 11, 2009 5:35:35 AM

  15. Nothing can compare to the Maysles documentary but this might be interesting, I hope it doesn't strip away the mystique.
    We already know the destination,
    it might be nice to take the complete journey...

    Posted by: Nonplussed | Mar 11, 2009 7:24:47 AM

  16. This is a real question: why do we give a shit about these people? Is it because they are related to Jackie O? Just wondering.

    Posted by: shane | Mar 11, 2009 7:33:33 AM

  17. (Sound of Shane's Gay Card going into the wood chipper)

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 11, 2009 9:48:04 AM

  18. Well this looks interesting but don't understand why we'd want to see actors re-create actual footage that we can see for ourselves. What's the point?

    The comparison of MILK to the documentary THE LIFE & TIMES OF HARVEY MILK isn't accurate. No camera followed Harvey around 24/7. We have some of his public speeches and public apeparances, but almost no personal footage exists. Dramatizing his life made sense.

    Unless the HBO movie can somehow expand upon the original documentary footage it is pointless to have Drew Barrymore dress up and recite lines we can hear the original person say.

    Posted by: Des | Mar 11, 2009 9:59:16 AM

  19. David :-) exactly.

    The fact they were related to Jackie O is interesting for a few seconds, but they were just fascinatingly eccentric people, and the documentary brilliantly captured their love-hate relationship, along with Little Edie's thwarted dreams and ambitions, not to mention her lasting fashion sense. The doc gave Little Edie the stage she never would have had otherwise.

    It's hard not to be skeptical of a film remake of something that was so perfect, and Drew is too young for the part, but the promo looked more promising than I expected and might draw people back to the Maysles's original.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 11, 2009 10:07:43 AM

  20. Here here, Chaq!!! Hollywood is creatively bankrupt. Remakes or retreads of existing material are its only remaining strategies.

    Boycott this idiotic film and rent the documentary. That is the only truth.

    Posted by: Freddy | Mar 11, 2009 11:05:59 AM

  21. I read the script for this a while back and unless they made massive changes to it, I found it really terrible (there's a scene where Edie screams at Jackie "I should have been first lady, not you!!" and Jackie sobs, "Oh, Edie, I wish it had been you!" GAG!).

    It's also hard for me to see Drew Barrymore play Edie Beale after seeing Christine Ebersole knock it out of the park on Broadway . . . and watching the real deal in the Mayseles films.

    Posted by: Alex | Mar 11, 2009 11:15:42 AM

  22. I have an idea -- let's either go to see it, or not go to see it! Then we'll discuss it or not discuss it.

    Posted by: DeeVee | Mar 11, 2009 12:05:36 PM

  23. It's not a reproduction of the documentary...from what I understand it includes their lives from around Little Edie's teenage years to her 60's.

    By the way, you all look absolutely terrific! Honestly.

    Posted by: Bapril | Mar 11, 2009 12:11:53 PM

  24. Jeez, some of you people lack basic comprehension skills! It's obvious from both the trailer and every promo piece written on HBO's Grey Gardens that this is NOT a remake of the documentary. It covers the Edies' lives before, during and after the Mayles bros.

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 11, 2009 12:32:59 PM

  25. Normally I hate remakes, but - THIS ISN'T A REMAKE! There are scenes in the clip that DID NOT OCCUR IN THE DOCUMENTARY. So anyone who's using the word "remake" here is wrong. It's a completely different genre.

    As far as I can see, it is as much a film about the success of the documentary as it is about the Beale's.

    But it's so heartening to see all the usual bitchy haters on this site confirming to type. You go girls...

    I like Drew Barrymore and I love Grey Gardens, and I'll be seeing this movie.

    Posted by: Lubin Odana | Mar 11, 2009 12:40:54 PM

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