Grey Gardens

(USA 1976)

Seminal semisweet documentary about “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, the eccentric and probably mentally ill aunt and cousin of Jackie Kennedy Onassis living on a ramshackle estate in East Hampton, New York. Grey Gardens makes anyone who has ever appeared on Hoarders look like an amateur poseur. Just like any other train wreck, it’s impossible to look away even if it’s hard to watch at points. Yet, neither Edie seems miserable, wanting, or joyless. I guess whether you call it a happy or a sad film depends on perspective– something Albert and David Maysles no doubt intended.

In 2010, the United States Library of Congress deemed Grey Gardens “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry (

(Music Box) B

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