Based on the life stories of the eccentric aunt and first cousin of Jackie Kennedy, starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, Grey Gardens tells the tender, intimate story of an eccentric mother and daughter (both named Edith Bouvier Beale aka "Big and Little Edie"). They were raised as Park Avenue débutantes but withdrew from New York society, taking shelter at their Long Island summer home, "Grey Gardens ." As their wealth and contact with the outside world dwindled, so did their grasp on reality. They were reintroduced to the world when international tabloids learned of a health department raid on their home, and Jackie swooped in to save her relatives. Based on the lives that inspired the Maysles Brothers' classic documentary.
How could a ravishing young
debutante and her life-of-every-party mother -- relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy
Onassis, no less -- become crazy cat ladies, occupying a dilapidated 28-room
East Hampton mansion? "Grey Gardens," an HBO movie inspired by the eponymous
documentary shot in 1973, doesn't fully answer that question -- indeed, there's
a rather sizable hole in the story -- but nevertheless has a fabulous time
contemplating it, showcasing marvelous performances by Drew Barrymore and
Jessica Lange. It's a must-see for those fascinated by the lore of the U.S.'
modern Camelot, as well as another sure to be lavishly adorned movie for the pay
TV Premiere: April 18th, 2009
DVD Review: HBO - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||HBO Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.13 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English, French, Spanish, None|
Commentary by Michael Sucsy, Lucy Barzun Donnelly and Rachael Horovitz
Firstly, for anyone who has seen the original Grey Gardens documentary this is a pretty cool 'reenactment' of some of the dramas that transpired in the eclectic duo's earlier years. It might be worth it solely for the performances as both actresses pull it off like chameleons.
The video quality is strong, progressively transferred on a dual-layered disc. It's anamorphic and colors and detail are quite strong for SD-DVD. Good news again that I don't see excessive manipulation and the image is, expectantly, super-clean. Audio is 5.1 without notable separation sequences but everything is clear and clean. There are optional subtitles.
The commentary is a good one and the participants know their topic very well - even beyond production details. There is also an 11-minute piece with minor input from Lange and Barrymore. I was very entertained by this. It brought back the pleasure and charisma of Little Edie in the Maysles documentary. You kind of want to see even more. Although initially show on HBO - the inclusion of the extras make the price of $16 seem very reasonable. I'd certainly highly recommend watching this if you get the opportunity.