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  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 18, 2009
  • Season #: 1
Grey Gardens Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 1973 documentary about Little Edie (Barrymore) and her mother, Big Edie (Lange), having been made into an award-winning Broadway play of the same name, is again dramatized as a film for HBO.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 100
    I will tell you that Lange and Barrymore deserve Emmys as does the production, which is so authentic you can see the real silk char meuse oozing off socialite shoulders.
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    The Beales' story--predictably, sadly--descends into mutual recrimination, then near madness. It's all rescued by two stunning performances.
  3. The HBO film Grey Gardens shines new light on old subjects, and the result--including a fantastic performance from Drew Barrymore--is beyond entertaining.
  4. 80
    Grey Gardens is tragicomedy of a very rare and rarefied kind--priceless, precious and, thanks largely to Lange, potentially unforgettable.
  5. The acting is compelling, and the costumes are sumptuous, but the staging is static, too “Masterpiece Theater” for the story at hand.
  6. Reviewed by: Randee Dawn
    Director/co-producer/co-writer Michael Sucsy gets their plight, and he's unflinching about exploiting it. But it's hard to say he exposes the heart of his characters; Little Edie's motivation remains a mystery.
  7. Lange is fine as the senior Edie, but Barrymore, for reasons not entirely her fault, seems off her game.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. RayG
    Apr 23, 2009
    Awesome. Should have been released to the theaters.
  2. EllenK
    Apr 27, 2009
    I was too busy living my own life in performance (first female radio talk show with daily call in show in Miami and Boston 1971-72) when all this happened to pay much note of the real story. However, Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange certainly captured the true essence of these two fascinating and provocative women. As the film progressed, I began to remember the story in all of its sordid details. I hope the "square-off" in the Best Actress Category for the Emmys results in a tie between the two of them, and awards for both of them. I give this HBO program an "A" on Ellen's Entertainment Report Card. Expand
  3. NerijusD
    Jun 7, 2009
    Brilliant, moving, true to the original documentary.
  4. DeWayneG
    Apr 21, 2009
    This is the perfect and necessary companion piece to the Maysles brothers
  5. Sep 1, 2014
    Grey Gardens is truly special. And the film wouldn't be nearly as special without Jessica Lange or Drew Barrymore. It's a pleasant retelling of Kennedy's cousins. Expand
  6. ArmondA
    Apr 20, 2009
    Having seen the original documentary film on which this docudrama is based I was left with a number of questions about the story surrounding the narrow time frame presented to us. After watching HBO's production last night my itch of curiosity felt well-scratched. As others have noted, the production values were excellent and the acting ranged from acceptable to astonishing. Drew Barrymore's Little Edie impression was sometimes dead on and sometimes spoiled by personal mannerisms. Jessica Lange's work was terrific. A film like this shouldn't have an "ending", in the conventional sense of "wrap up" or "resolution", and the attempt to tack one on to this sad, grinding tale of human deterioration and decay seems unnecessary and insulting. So too is the heavily dramatic background music that moves right into the foreground as we head into the final scenes in the grand old family mansion. But rather than close this little comment on a sour note, let me again emphasize that the film does a fine job for those of us who've long been interested in this dark and strange true-life riches-to-rags story of squandered privilege. And compared to the MUSICAL!? that was based on the same original material...one could hardly call this straight dramatic version EXPLOITATIVE. Expand
  7. eds
    Apr 28, 2009
    The accents were just terrible and distracting. It was like listening to Rose Kennedy trying to put on southern accent.

See all 8 User Reviews

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