...I've heard of this film for years and couldn't wait for tonight to finally sit down and watch Grey Gardens.
Paul was horrified by it.
I, meanwhile, was equally riveted and repulsed by it. It, again, was a look into that funhouse mirror of our lives. Well, okay, not OUR lives, but certainly his mother's.
The film focuses on two women: Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, also named Edith (they call her "Little Edie"). The women were related to Jackie Kennedy Onassis and were once high society women. But, they'd fallen on hard luck and now live(d) in squalor and co-dependency (I use the past tense since the movie was filmed in 1975).
It's hard to watch this film, 'cause these women are not the nicest people in the world. On top of it, you get the sense that Little Edie is a little "touched". At first, I wondered why she stayed there even though she complains about her mother and the house, and then it becomes apparent just how much the mother is taking care of her daughter. Little Edie has seemingly no sense of reality (she even says that she sees herself as a little girl when she's nearly sixty in this film).
I also found it similar to the early John Waters films like "Female Trouble" in a lot of ways. The vernacular, the weird sort of half-monotone way of speaking that we may associate with bad acting (but they apparently use here in real life to speak normally), the strange sense of style that Little Edie has (wearing sweaters attached to her head with brooches as scarves/turbans). Again, also just as hard to take your eyes off of, certainly, as those early trashy movies.
If you want to take a trip off the beaten video/DVD/TiVo path, Grey Gardens may be an interesting destination for the evening...