Best Movies by Farr
The Queen of Versailles Poster
Released Runtime Category
2012 100 Documentary
Director Language
Lauren Greenfield English
Actors
Jackie Siegel, David Siegel

The Queen of Versailles

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What's it About

In 2008 the billionaire time-share mogul David Siegel is living the high life with his former beauty queen trophy wife Jackie and their eight children. Not content with their current home, which has only 17 bathrooms, they decide to build the largest home in America: a 90,000 square foot Versailles knockoff, complete with ballroom, ice-rink and (count ‘em) 30 bathrooms. Then the sub-prime mortgage collapse occurs and the Siegels are forced to make cutbacks, radically altering their ostentatious lifestyle. How will they adjust to this new period of budget austerity?

Why we love it

Greenfield’s spotlight on the nouveau-riche quickly becomes a more wide-reaching expose of the economic downturn, and the American dream gone belly up. Interestingly, the director refuses to vilify the Siegels, who come across as misguided and pitiable, but not altogether unsympathetic. Jackie particularly is a walking dichotomy of survivor’s strength and blinkered consumerism; a scene of her binge-shopping at a Walmart is both hilarious and deeply sad. Sadder still is the family’s loving Filipino nanny, whose own attempt at the American dream contrasts sharply with that of her clueless employers. This Sundance winner about gaudy excess (and dramatic re-adjustment) is simply jaw-dropping.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"