When Drew Barrymore announced that she was making a film based on the cult documentary Grey Gardens, there was a collective squeal of horror from the film's legion of dedicated fans. Grey Gardens tells the heartbreaking true story of Little Edie Beale (Jacqueline Kennedy's cousin) and her mother, Big Edie, both faded beauties, living out the last of their days together in a dilapidated house in the Hamptons. In the documentary there are touches of Edie's life as a jobbing actress in New York, and a glimpse of a fading picture reveals how beautiful she once was.
But, most importantly, Little Edie, with her head wraps, brooches and upside-down skirts and safety pins, became something of a fashion muse, most recently even influencing Marc Jacobs' S/S ’08 collection, so the fashion industry will be watching carefully for mistakes or inspiration.
Drew Barrymore has always talked of her respect for the original film, so we assume that she has produced a sensitive remake for HBO. Her version – in which she stars alongside Jessica Lange as Big Edie – is an attempt to answer why Little Edie Beale turned down so many marriage proposals and how she ended up back with her mother. Watch the trailer here for the first look. At least her Little Edie accent is (almost) flawless. But it will take more than that to win over the die-hard Little Edie obsessives. Still, you can pretty much guarantee we'll be first in the cinema seats...
Here's the HBO promo, scheduled to screen in the US on 18 April:
And watch the original 1975 documentary trailer below to see how it compares: