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The Queen of Versailles

  • Documentary and factual
  • 2012
  • Lauren Greenfield
  • 100 mins
  • PG

Summary

Documentary centred on property tycoon David Siegel and his wife, Jackie. From humble beginnings, the couple sets out to build the largest house in America, modelled on the French palace of Versailles. But as the global financial crisis of 2008 takes hold, their empire crumbles and the dream begins to slip out of reach.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

This engrossing documentary charts the rise (and fall, though the term is relative) of US property magnate David Siegel and his wife, Jackie, the "Queen" of the title, as their plans to build the largest, most palatial private home in the country (90,000 square feet) come crashing down around them. Having made billions from his timeshare business, David is hit by the 2008 economic crisis: he is forced to lay off thousands of staff and halt the construction of their outrageous home; meanwhile, the irrepressible Jackie continues to spend. Director Lauren Greenfield followed the couple and their eight children for three years and her patience is rewarded here, as a tale of obscene wealth and lavish living becomes a perceptive study of the downside of the American Dream. David becomes more troubled and insular as time goes on, withdrawing from family life, but former beauty queen (and qualified engineer) Jackie is the true focus of a film that's in turn hilarious and heartbreaking.

How to watch

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Credits

Crew

rolename
DirectorLauren Greenfield

Details

Theatrical distributor
Dogwoof
Released on
2012-09-07
Languages
English | French
Guidance
Swearing
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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