This is the film version of the classic 1976 docu/film 'Grey Gardens' which tells the story of Edith Bouvier Beale (Senior) and her daughter 'Littel Edie' who lived in almost total isolation in their crumbling East Hamptons home Grey Gardens.
Clearly the producers have taken the original 70's film as the basis and then proceeding to draw on aspects of the two women's lives that help and support explanation of why and how they came to live with little money, in a cat-infested, dilapidated, house that was even declared unfit for habitation by the State Health Board (until the Beale's close relation, former First Lady, Jackie O paid to have the house partly restored).
Drew Barrymore as Little Edie is terrific, really capturing the essence of the woman - she adapts the voice, mannerism's and character of Little Edie to truely bring her to life, from youth to old age. However the ever graceful Jessica Lange is also masterful in her portrayal of Big Edie, especially since the film does tend to play her as the controlling mother who limited her daughters life so that she, herself, didn't have to be alone.
Its wonderful also to see that the film re-enacts some of the true, original scene's from the docu-movie - which you must, MUST, also see to fully understand these two remarkable women. I would suggest watching the 1976 film first and then this version (which belies its US 'made for tv' origins).