Monday, October 12, 2009

Movie Review: Grey Gardens (Rental)

Drew and Jessica in "Grey Gardens"

Well, just finished watching one of the most depressing movies ever!  "Grey (freaking) Gardens" starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica 
Why was it depressing?  Because of the pathetic unfulfilled experiences of the two real life characters.  Lots of Regret in this movie.  Oh man, regret is the worst.  Unfulfilled lives, resentment and regret. Nasty trio. Such things can drive a person mad and indeed thats what these two women were.  Completely wacko! So sad.

When I first started watching this movie, I was seriously confused.  "What the hell is this?" (I said out loud in a southern accent of course) "Is this a comedy?  Drama?  What is Drew doing?  Is that an accent?"   Then remembered that this is a true story and you know what that means. Oh yes, an imitation.  Hey, I appreciate a great imitatation as much as the next person,  but I usually don't want to watch one for 2 hours.  I usually get distracted by mistakes their making or inconsistencies of the script.  Or if their good at it, I just keep thinking "Ooh that was good, oh that was good too. Hahaha, they are just like so and so", so I usually steer away from such films.  But these characters were so unusual I was like a deer in headlights.  Couldn't bring myself to press the stop button. I did however, end up pushing pause several times and then going on YouTube to see the real life clips of Grey Gardens documentary.  I would check the performances against the real thing, and boy Drew and Jessica were spot on!  I was impressed!   They seemed to be so surreal, almost cartoon like.  I was fascinated once I got over the makeup.

Drew as "Little Edith Bouvier Beale"  

Can we talk about the makeup? I was appalled by the hideous job on poor Drew. I mean that looked painful.  I was wincing every time Drew smiled.  And she smiled A LOT as this lunatic character.  But for some reason Jessica's old lady makeup rocked.  Their characters aged throughout the film.  They must have had two different makeup artists.  And, might I add that Jessica's makeup may have rocked as an old woman but her real life botox face made me cringe in her shots where she was her younger self. 

Jessica Lange (current)

 Oh Jessica, your face is a mess!  What's up with that forehead?  You could crack an egg on it!  Its as tight as a table Miss Thing!  The forehead botox is making her eyebrows spread towards her freaking temples and it does not look good!  Lawd, what Hollywood does to its stars!  Geez!  But I forgive her (and Hollywood) because her acting was impeccable.  So was Drew's for that matter.  Too bad they were both running for best actress at the Emmy's.  It should have been a tie.  Couldn't believe Shirley Maclaine was up for her performance of Coco Channel, I watched that movie this weekend too and can I just say - I wish I had those 2 hours back!!  But I digress. 

Poor little Edie!  As an actor, I have really strong feelings about creatives giving up or don't follow through with their talents because of fear. Fear is the biggest challenge for us creatives. Yes, myself included.  Heck, the biggest challenge in everyones life period, but in this profession we struggle against it every time we do our job.   Its easy (and sometimes not) to throw in the towel for a lot of us.  We are always asking - how much longer will I do this?  I think even actors that have some level of success feel the same way.  But little Edie Beale (Drew Barrymore) didn't even get the chance to shine.  So manipulated she was by her mother, circumstance, and being a woman in the 40's and 50's.  Women had less options at that time. Getting married was the goal.  That was usually a woman's job.  But what do you do if you don't want to marry and instead want to work outside the home?  And a career in the arts for that matter.  I thank God I wasn't born in the 40's - for so many reasons!  Again, the performances were excellent and I recommend this film rental.  Once you get involved with these characters you kinda get sucked in.  And some may think of it as a "feel good" type of movie.  Thats not the way I would have described it.  Loved the clothes though! This is an interesting story about a complicated relationship between a mother and daughter, loss of dreams, fear and Tea for Two. 

Gonna go lie in bed now, stare at the ceiling and thank God I am alive in 2009.

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