Grey Gardens – Little Edie v. Barrymore’s Edie

January 5th, 2011

I finally watched the Grey Gardens re-make starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange and thoroughly enjoyed it. ‘Twas no small task to channel such immense characters. I thought Lange especially disappeared into the role of Big Edie.  I wrote about the documentary version of Grey Gardens here, and my sister and I had our own Grey Gardens fashion show here.

The new film (released in 2009) takes the audience back into the history of what both Edith Bouviers (relatives of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onasis) were prior to their dissent (I mean descent!) into mad ruin. There are love affairs gone wrong and an inability and or refusal to function in reality for both women. I have no idea how much of the back story is accurate, but I can positively attest that every outfit is superb, the soft shoe is stellar and the movie is extremely entertaining. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is definitely worth a watch.

Here’s a scene from the original documentary – the famous ‘skirt scene’ with Little Edie.

And here is Barrymore’s version.


  • I’ve had the Barrymore version sitting on my DVR for over a year. I started it once and realized it was going to be one of those movies that takes my total attention…so far, I haven’t found the time to devote to it. Now I’m thinking I must. Soon.

  • Shelley:

    Brilliant! I saw the original on your recommendation (loved it), but then decided I didn’t want to see how Drew Barrymore sullied the character…so, it’s been languishing low in my Netflix queue. This clip totally changed my mind though! Moving it to # 1 in my queue in 5…4…3…

  • Deb C.:

    I saw both of these and really enjoyed them. A sad tale, but I thought the remake was very well done. When I was on my Grey Gardens kick, I had to check out the Grey Gardens info online. Interesting info on the house renovation done after Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn bought it.

  • And today I found my favorite blog.

  • I have watched this version so many times! If I’m flipping channels- and I see this – I have to stop and watch…I too thought they both did a fabulous job. There are sooooo many memorable lines from the movie…one of my favorites is when Jackie shows up at the house finally and Big Edie is coming down the stairs like nothing’s wrong with anything and says…”Jacquiline….I was just thinking about you….”

  • nanbriar:

    I have also watched both documentary and the movie versions – I love Drew Barrymore anyway and Jessica Lang – they did a wonderful job. I found it so interesting, I wanted to know more about the entire family.

  • susan:

    I have seen the original a few times and it is mesmerizing. The remake was very good but to me cant top the documentary.

  • nonanon:

    “descent,” not “dissent”

    • susan:

      nonan: why point this out? Obviously Rechelle is intelligent and in her haste to post on her blog which causes much vexation, she makes a mistake. WTF?????

      • susan:

        I meant the blog creates vexation for Rechelle.

  • WVKay:

    Wow. I want to see both. I feel ignorant for never having heard of “Grey Gardens.”

  • Best movie ever. Hands down. Both the documentary and film version are brilliant. I especially enjoyed some of the back story with the film version.

    I hope to someday be brave enough to channel Little Edie’s fashion sense.

  • I finally just saw the original yesterday, and was amazed at the likenesses Lange and Barrymore pulled off. Incredible.

  • Head on over to Hulu, there’s a bit of a treat there: