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.
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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.