Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
More nuttiness from the Beales gals, Big and Little Edie, as the Maysles Brothers return to one of their biggest successes for a follow-up. In the decades since the original was released, Grey Gardens has inspired a Broadway musical, countless fashion designers and a cable film adaptation, prompting Albert Maysles (David unfortunately passed away in 1987, but still receives directorial credit) to put together a second film featuring footage that wasn’t included in the original. It feels more like a long DVD featurette than a movie, but if you loved Big Edie’s singing as well as Little Edie’s philosophical chestnuts and spontaneous dance performances (not to mention wholly singular sense of fashion), you’ll have a great time watching this. Maysles concentrates on more under-expressive footage this time, giving us the quieter moments here and there rather than the big showy confrontations between the two women that made the original so popular. As such it makes a great companion piece, but because of that it’s also missing the relationship element that gave Grey Gardens a narrative structure. Either way, you won’t want to miss it.
The Criterion Collection: #361
Toronto International Film Festival: 2006