Film / Reviews

The Queen of Versailles

by Giovanni Fazio

Pride comes before a fall, and proving that old proverb correct is “The Queen of Versailles,” a documentary tracking one obscenely wealthy couple’s attempt to build the largest mansion in America, modeled on the Palace of Versailles, no less, but with a bowling alley.

Jackie and David Siegel — she a busty former model, he a real estate billionaire selling time-share condominiums — lead a life of speedboats, private jets and socializing with Miss America contestants.

Yet deep into the construction of their new home, the 2008 financial crisis hits and, with Bernie’s business over-leveraged, they find themselves on the verge of foreclosure, having to learn to do things such as, you know, cook for themselves and live with only two servants instead of 10.

The Queen of Versailles (Queen of Versailles: Daifugo no Kareinaru Tenraku)
Rating
Director Lauren Greenfield
Language English

You may have a hard time not gagging when Jackie complains that the government bailout money going to the banks isn’t being passed on to “the common people; you know, us.” Yet Jackie is a complicated character, as down-to-earth as she is extravagant, and director Lauren Greenfield finds a lot of story there.