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The Queen of Versailles


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Editorial Reviews

The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. With epic proportions of Shakespearean tragedy, the film follows two unique characters, whose rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. The film begins with the family triumphantly constructing the largest privately-owned house in America, a 90,000 sq. ft. palace. Over the next two years, their sprawling empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis. Major changes in lifestyle and character ensue within the cross-cultural household of family members and domestic staff.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jackie Siegel, David Siegel
  • Directors: Lauren Greenfield
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (343 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008PZ69SE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,123 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Miles D. Moore VINE VOICE on August 26, 2012
Format: DVD
Lauren Greenfield's "The Queen of Versailles" is funny, sad, appalling and touching all at once. It can be taken as a tale of wretched excess, of the implosion of the American Dream. or as proof that the rich (at least the nouveaux riches) are perhaps not so different from you and me.

"The Queen of Versailles" is a documentary about David and Jacqueline Siegel, Florida billionaires who made a mint in the time-share boom of the early 2000s, only to go bust when the subprime mortgage bubble burst. The symbol of their rags-to-riches-to-rags story is their unfinished 90,000-square-foot house, named and modeled after Versailles, which they are forced to put on the market. The early portion of the film depicts the Siegels' life of childish self-congratulation in their current 26,000-sq.-ft. mansion, replete with gilt thrones, shoe closets the size of airplane hangars, and portraits of themselves in royal robes. The later footage shows their lives falling into chaos. David becomes increasingly grumpy and withdrawn; Jackie continues her shopping sprees (only at discount stores rather than Neiman-Marcus), and finds it impossible to cope with her eight unruly children and pack of un-housebroken American Eskimo dogs with a severely depleted household staff. And all the while Versailles sits gathering spiderwebs, while the bank schemes to put it into foreclosure.

More than one critic has pointed out the irony of the Siegels suffering the same fate, albeit on a larger scale, as their time-share clients. Yet as Greenfield portrays them--in remarkably unguarded scenes culled from more than 200 hours of film--the Siegels aren't unlikable. To be sure, they have character flaws magnified first by their wealth, then the loss of their wealth.
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Judy Proffitt on August 3, 2012
Format: DVD
I drove 4 hours roundtrip yesterday to see "The Queen of Versailles", which I had been looking forward to since reading of it months ago. I was certain it would be worth the trip, and indeed it was! Lauren Greenfield fascinatingly captured the Siegel family as they were living life large with all the unimaginable tacky extravagances that the self made couple with "new money" thought would make them look important and elegant. The marriage was built on shifting sand ... Jackie was his trophy wife ... David was her trophy husband. She popped out 7 kids once she realized she could have several nannies to take care of them. Poor kids. The 90,000 sq. ft. Versailles was under construction when the bottom dropped out of the real estate market, so they had to halt construction on that and make do in their 26,000 sq. ft. house. The story only gets more crazy from there on out. I had told my friend who went with me that this movie was a documentary, but afterwards she asked if those were actors and actresses and was it a true story, because she couldn't conceive that there were real people on the planet who would act that way intentionally. Yes, my jaw dropped often; yes, my eyes rolled often; yes, I laughed out loud often ... I was mesmerized with the totality of it and can highly recommend that you see it. I have already placed my pre-order for the DVD coming out in November.
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90 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Anne VINE VOICE on September 16, 2012
Format: DVD
But these people are so over-the-top that there is no way to satirize them. Their reality is completely out there. Their 26,000 sq ft house is too small, so they are building a 90,000 sq ft one, based on the palace at Versailles. That's what the documentary starts out about. Then, the economic collapse hits, and actually affects them so they must cease construction on this huge palace and fire 19 of their 24 or so household staff. There is still money for a non-surgical facelift for the forty-something wife with basketball-size false boobs married to the 75 yr old husband with enormous gut, but they must forgo private planes with their 7 kids and niece. This movie was a horror show of what happens to people when they simply have too much money. There is no compassion for the Filipino nanny who has not seen her own children in 11 years. There is no feeling for pets, even, who are allowed to crap all over the floor (dogs) or simply allowed to die (reptiles, fish) from neglect. This is how the next generation of monsters is made: give kids so much that they have absolutely no compassion for anyone or anything -- because if they do not sometimes do without, they lack sympathy for those who do without on a regular basis. That this behavior can be learned is shown by the adopted niece, who grew up in a less-privileged environment, but who allows her pet to die of hunger and thirst and then says, with 16 yr old attitude, I'm sorry I'm such a horrible person. Why yes, honey, that is one definition. Anyone who lets helpless, dependent animals die a horrible death from sheer laziness is exactly that. And this is the one who should have known better. This movie is a horror show, and if anything explains why we should limit vast accumulations of wealth when others are suffering.Read more ›
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful By SRL on February 10, 2013
Format: DVD
It was cold and snowy today and I had borrowed this video from someone who thought it was great so I thought I'd watch it.

What do you say about, trashy, entitled, spoiled, unappealing rich people who get a reality check? Serves them right? Yes except I never felt that they were the least bit humbled by their circumstances. Jackie was a real gem. Cleavage out to here with her LARGE enhanced breasts and 8 kids who she clearly didn't know how to care for or discipline without the nanny's help. The fact that she said she wouldn't have had so many kids if she'd known that there wouldn't be nannies around was a stunner in itself. Add to all the kids, many barking, pooping dogs, a filthy house, dead pets and a sullen and absent dad and you have one of the the most pathetic families I've seen in quite some time...possibly ever.

Watching neglected pets die and hearing a nanny's comments about not seeing her own children in 11 years just depressed me. Are the Siegels so clueless that they didn't know, or care that the nanny hadn't seen her children in 11 years? Couldn't they have given the poor woman a bonus and a vacation so that she could go home and see her kids? Or better yet, paid her well enough so she could have put money away. Couldn't they afford fish food? Water for the poor damn dying lizard? To keep the python locked up so it wouldn't eat the puppies? It was all just so appalling.

I did laugh at the complete lack of insight by David who was bragging about helping "W" get elected. I wonder if he ever was able to figure out that "W" was one of the contributing factors of his financial empire going from billions to mere millions which in turn resulted in many thousands of employees losing their jobs. Oh the irony!
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