|Story by||Michael Sucsy|
|Directed by||Michael Sucsy|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||104 minutes|
Grey Gardens is a 2009 American biographical drama television film about the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale/"Little Edie", played by Drew Barrymore, and her mother Edith Ewing Bouvier/"Big Edie", played by Jessica Lange. Co-stars include Jeanne Tripplehorn as Jacqueline Kennedy (Little Edie's cousin) and Ken Howard as Phelan Beale (Little Edie's father). The film, directed by Michael Sucsy and co-written by Sucsy and Patricia Rozema, flashes back and forth between various events and dates ranging from Little Edie as a young débutante in 1936 moving with her mother to their Grey Gardens estate through the filming and premiere of the actual 1975 documentary Grey Gardens.
Filming began on October 22, 2007, in the Hamptons. It premiered on HBO on April 18, 2009.
The film was nominated for 17 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning six including Outstanding Made for Television Movie, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie (for Lange) and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (for Howard). It was also nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, winning two for Best Miniseries or Made for Television Movie and Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film (for Barrymore). It was also nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie, winning one (for Barrymore). The film also won the 2009 Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials.
The film is based on the life stories of the eccentric paternal aunt and first cousin of Jackie Kennedy, both named Edith Bouvier Beale. The elder Edith Bouvier Beale was the sister of Jackie Kennedy's father John Vernou Bouvier III and was referred to as "Big Edie", her daughter was referred to as "Little Edie". The Beale women were members of NYC high society, but in their later years, withdrew from the New York City life, taking shelter at their Long Island summer home/estate Grey Gardens. The house eventually fell into a state of disrepair that gave the Beale women notoriety.
Phelan Beale (husband of "Big Edie" and father of "Little Edie"), eventually divorced "Big Edie." In the movie, "Little Edie" decides to move to New York to pursue a career in acting (as well as an ill-fated romance with high-profile married man, Julius 'Cap' Krug). Her father frankly tells her that she has to find a husband to support her lifestyle. "Little Edie" sadly and slowly realizes her fate is to remain her mother's companion at Grey Gardens. The two women become reclusive and known around town as the highly eccentric proprietors of Grey Gardens, which has become decrepit and full of stray animals taken in by the Beale women. The plot includes the filming of the documentary Grey Gardens by Albert and David Maysles as well as flashback events in the Beales' past, including their arrival at the estate, the disintegration of Big Edie's marriage, and Little Edie's failed attempts to have her own life and find independence.
After Phelan Beale dies, the two sons tell their mother, Big Edie, that there is little money and she should sell the estate and move to Florida. The house was in her name and this was her home. She was going nowhere. Grey Gardens became a health hazard, overrun with cats and also infested with raccoons. Health officials condemned the home and newspaper articles ran blaming Jackie Kennedy. Jackie goes to the home in a chauffeur-driven limousine for a visit. Jackie and her sister, Lee, pay for the cleanup and restoration of the Hamptons home. Mom and daughter grow old together. The documentary is finished and Little Edie attends the premiere, wearing a surprise gift from her mother.
The movie ends with Little Edie singing "Tea for Two" at the Reno Sweeney cabaret in Greenwich Village, and the quote, "My mother gave me a truly priceless life."
Michael Sucsy said that he used primary sources to flesh out the story including letters and journals kept by Little Edie. He also interviewed family members and friends including Lois Wright who lived in the house and wrote her own book about the events. Albert Maysles is credited as a source in the movie. Sucsy said that the house facade as well as the interior were created from blueprints. Sucsy said that an aerial shot of the house circa 1936 was historically accurate on the placement of the house in relation to other mansions in East Hampton at the time (although requiring CGI enhancements to create the illusion). As with many movies based on historical events, some events in the Beales' lives, such as the timing of Big Edie and Phelan's divorce, were shifted to make a more coherent story.
The entire film was shot in Ontario, with most of the shots in metropolitan Toronto. The Valley Halla Estate in Rouge Park was the setting of exterior shots of Grey Gardens. Waterfront shots were on Centre Island in the Toronto Islands. Hotel shots were at the Fairmont Royal York. Studio work was done at Toronto Film Studios.
The aerial shot of The Pierre was licensed from An Affair to Remember.
Post-production was done in New York and Los Angeles. The DVD commentary was done in the same studio where the Maysles mixed the original documentary.
The movie has been lauded by many critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% out of 10 professional critics gave the film a positive review. Ben Lyons from At the Movies raved: "Drew Barrymore is fantastic in this film." Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers also raved: "The script hits a few bumps, but Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore are magnificent as the bizarro Beales. Barrymore is a revelation. Aging into her 60s and transformed in voice and bearing, she finds Edie's unquenchable spirit. Brava."
|Artios Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Movie||Ellen Parks and Robin D. Cook||Won|||
|Online Film & Television Association Awards||Best Motion Picture||Won|||
|Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Drew Barrymore||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Ken Howard||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Jeanne Tripplehorn||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Michael Sucsy||Won|
|Best Writing of a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Michael Sucsy and Patricia Rozema||Won|
|Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Won|
|Best Editing in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Nominated|
|Best Lighting in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Won|
|Best Makeup/Hairstyling in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Won|
|Best Music in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Won|
|Best Production Design in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Won|
|Best Sound in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Made for Television Movie||Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Rachael Horovitz, Michael Sucsy,
and David Coatsworth
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie||Drew Barrymore||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie||Ken Howard||Won|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie||Jeanne Tripplehorn||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special||Michael Sucsy||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special||Michael Sucsy and Patricia Rozema||Nominated|
|Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie||Kalina Ivanov, Brandt Gordon, and Norma Jean Sanders||Won[a]|
|Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or Special||Ellen Parks and Robin D. Cook||Nominated|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie||Mike Eley||Nominated|
|Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or Special||Catherine Marie Thomas and Mickey Carleton||Nominated|
|Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or Movie||Jenny Fifield-Arbour and Nancy E. Warren||Won|
|Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or Movie (Non-Prosthetic)||Linda Dowds, Susan Hayward, and Vivian Baker||Nominated|
|Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or Special||Vivian Baker, Linda Dowds, Bill Corso, and Sean Sansom||Won|
|Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score)||Rachel Portman||Nominated|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie||Alan Heim and Lee Percy||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or Movie||Henry Embry and Rick Ash||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Motion Picture Made for Television||Won|||
|Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television||Drew Barrymore||Won|
|Television Critics Association Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials||Won|||
|Women Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Theatrically Unreleased Movie by or About Women||Won|||
|Women's Image Network Awards||Outstanding Mini-Series / Made for Television Movie||Won|||
|Outstanding Actress Made for Television Movie / Mini-Series||Jessica Lange||Nominated|
|American Cinema Editors Awards||Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television||Alan Heim and Lee Percy||Won|||
|Art Directors Guild Awards||Excellence in Production Design Award – Television Movie or Mini-series||Kalina Ivanov, Brandt Gordon, Colin Woods, Tucker Doherty,
Jason Clarke, Jeff Helgason, and Jean Sanders
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movies and Miniseries||Henry Embry and Rick Ash||Won|||
|Costume Designers Guild Awards||Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries||Catherine Marie Thomas||Won|||
|Critics' Choice Awards||Best Picture Made for Television||Won|||
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television or Miniseries||Michael Sucsy||Nominated|||
|Dorian Awards||TV Drama of the Year||Won|||
|Campy Flick of the Year||Nominated|
|TV Performance of the Year: Drama||Drew Barrymore||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Miniseries or Television Film||Won|||
|Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Drew Barrymore||Won|
|Gracie Awards||Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Lead in a Drama Special||Drew Barrymore||Won|||
|Producers Guild of America Awards||David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television||Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Rachael Horovitz, Michael Sucsy,
and David Coatsworth
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||Drew Barrymore||Won|||
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Long Form – Original||Michael Sucsy and Patricia Rozema||Nominated|||
|Online Film & Television Association Awards||Hall of Fame – Television Programs||Inducted|||
|Grey Gardens: Music composed by Rachel Portman|
|Soundtrack album by |
The Academy Award-winning composer Rachel Portman provided the film score. In addition to Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the album includes vocal performances by the movie's lead actresses, Jessica Lange (on "We Belong Together" and "I Won't Dance" sung with Malcolm Gets) and Drew Barrymore (on "Tea for Two").
|1.||"Virginia Military Institute Song"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||1:00|
|2.||"Little Edie on Chair"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||2:45|
|3.||"Love Is Divine"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||1:21|
|4.||"Edie Come Home"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||2:23|
|5.||"Cements the Deal"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||1:14|
|6.||"Nobody Stuck Anybody Anywhere"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||2:14|
|7.||"Wedding Jewels"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||3:26|
|8.||"I Might Have"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||1:23|
|9.||"Extraordinary Determination"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||1:11|
|10.||"Your Father's Died"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||0:57|
|11.||"Feet First"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||2:52|
|12.||"Invite You In for Tea"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||2:45|
|13.||"She Was Gorgeous"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||1:40|
|14.||"We Belong Together"||Jessica Lange & Malcolm Gets||1:08|
|15.||"I Won't Dance"||Jessica Lange & Malcolm Gets||1:14|
|16.||"We Belong Together"||Jessica Lange||1:41|
|17.||"Young Edie in NYC"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||0:38|
|18.||"Raid"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||1:57|
|19.||"This Will Be Better"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||2:30|
|20.||"All the Luck in the World"/"Love Is Divine"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||2:11|
|21.||"Trust Has Run Out"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||1:13|
|22.||"Long Leash"||Prague Philharmonic Orchestra||0:54|
|23.||"Tea for Two"||Drew Barrymore||1:29|