Two distant relatives of Jacqueline Onassis (Also Kennedy) became somewhat famous in the mid-1970s for being society dropouts and basically running out of money. The mother and daughter pair from the Bouvier side of Jackie’s family were well-heeled and well-financed but through various vicissitudes of life, the women ended up living in a house called “Grey Gardens.” The trash piled up, the yard was overgrown and it became a true source of blight in the wealthy Hamptons neighborhood of Long Island.
The documentary was controversial at the time. The story was picked up by a variety of other media and Jackie O ended up going to the house, helping clean it up and gave her cousins thousands of dollars in help for food and other basic supplies. She paid for a gardener to clean up the yard, all so that the women wouldn’t end up homeless. The original documentary is available through the Criterion collection but this new movie with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore tells the whole story from how the women ended up the subject of the documentary in the first place and how life can be cruel, even to the beautiful and wealthy.