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The Queen of Versailles 2012

PG
Available on Prime

This Sundance-award winning doc profiles a billionaire couple who run into money troubles while attempting to construct an extravagant mega-mansion inspired by Versailles.

Starring:
Lorraine Barrett, June Downs
Runtime:
1 hour, 40 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Lauren Greenfield
Starring Lorraine Barrett, June Downs
Supporting actors Phillip Froehlich, Marissa Gaspay, Jonquil, Tina Martinez, Virginia Nebab, Wendy Ponce, David Siegel, Jaqueline Siegel, Richard Siegel, Victoria Siegel, Katie Stam, Terry Vaughn, Cliff Wright, Alyse Zwick
Studio Doc Club
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Miles D. Moore 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 David becomes increasingly grumpy and withdrawn; Jackie continues her shopping sprees (only at discount stores rather than Neiman-Marcus), and finds it impossible to cope with her eight unruly children and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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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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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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
What would you do if you had an extra hundred million dollars?

Would you provide food for the needy? How about helping save endangered species? Maybe you could fund research that might find the cure for cancer.

The billionaire family in this documentary decided to build the largest home in America, just for their own nuclear family.

This is a story of the silly rich. At first, the absurdity is hard to believe. David and Jacqueline Siegel feel they are very important, because- well, apparently because they have money. When the recession hits it hits hard and their half finished dream house, modeled after Versailles, turns out to be just a dream after all. But who can they find in the post-bubble economy who can afford to buy their $100 million dollar home?

The whole list of financial mistakes is here. The husband is a time-share king who built too fast on borrowed money. When everything bottoms out, those creditors come knocking. More mistakes are revealed. For instance, the man took out a mortgage on his current 26,000 sq. ft. home that he paid cash for and owned free and clear, only to put that money back into his business. There was no "cushion" and no plan in case anything went wrong. Because nothing was supposed to go wrong.

The new money saving regimen hits his wife Jackie hardest. She simply doesn't know how. She's a spender, through and through. It was easy to have seven kids when you have a houseful of servants to care for them. And when you're used to throwing lavish parties with a full complement of wait staff it can be hard to learn to cut back.
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