Grey Gardens ★★★★

The Maysles' befriended the Beale's at a point when a larger project was in the works. However, when this got scrapped, the Maysles' pulled funds together and over a series of a couple years they put together this documentary about Big and Little Edie Beale. They were both most likely some of the oldest residents of East Hampton but were also the only pair to nearly be evicted from what is essentially a section of Long Island that's devoted to being the summer homes of both wealthy and famous Americans. The home was originally purchased in the twenties but between an unamicable divorce and a mixture of delusions and perhaps narcissism left the mother and daughter to fend for themselves. (Despite two brothers who were clearly not destitute but seemed to have also had a falling out with their relations.) It spotlights a very dramatic shift in the life of some one time wealthy socialites who were living in squalor. At the time that this film is conceived. Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her sister Lee Radziwill spent 30,000 to clean out and get the Beale's home back to a state where they could still reside there. It's a no holds barred look at a couple of really odd birds who have gone about to 'make do' with as little as $150 a month since 1956 and by 1966 or so having literally nothing at all. Including running water or heat.