The Queen of Versailles

The Queen of Versailles

DVD - 2012
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The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. The film follows two unique characters, whose rags-to-riches-to-rags success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream.
Publisher: Los Angeles, Calif. : Magnolia Home Entertainment, c2012
Edition: Widescreen presentation
Branch Call Number: DVD 338.0922 QUEEN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 100 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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"...a documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. The film follows two unique characters, whose rags-to-riches-to-rags success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream.


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c
Curiouskind
Nov 18, 2015

No one could have guessed that the Great Recession was just around the corner, except perhaps the people who set it into motion, along with policymakers that they influence, but who ultimately didn’t take responsibility for the casualties that they caused; and they likely cashed out and bailed before things went from bad to ugly. Instead, the financiers passed on the responsibilities of their schemes to the unsuspecting common person and turned to the federal government to bail out the consumer and investment banks, in which the government obliged... It’s probably safe to say that few were not affected by this, in one form or another, from those on the fringes, those in the middle, to even the insanely wealthy. And it likely haunts them to this day. But this film also speaks to the excesses of the super rich (at least the ones featured), their mentality and pursuits, their insecurities, and asks the fundamental question ‘if you were to do this again, would you change anything?’ I can’t help to wonder if this question was meant for a much broader audience. This film is effective in using commentary from a wide spectrum of individuals and their surroundings to paint a more lucid picture. Terrific editing, quieting documentary.

m
mexicanadiense
Jul 06, 2015

One of those rare films that kind of defies categorization. Is it an anti-Wall Street polemic? A cautionary "riches-to-rags" tale? A Kardashian-esque "lifestyle" piece? A Michael Moore-ish takedown of the "timeshare industry"? Or just one ultra-wealthy family's no-limits interpretation of the American Dream until the free money taps got turned off? Definitely worth one's time, whatever it might be!

d
daysleeper236
Feb 27, 2015

A fascinating documentary about the effects of jaw-dropping excess, entitlement and greed. Highly recommended.

v
VRMurphy
Sep 26, 2014

Where to start, in talking about this film? Technically, I think it's quite good, and thematically, it does give quite the glimpse at how some people live. The negative, for me, is the choice of the filmmakers not to challenge or present independent analysis of the subjects' claims; I would have been interested to see interviews with past household staff (I don't blame the ones that were in the film for being circumspect in their comments), and someone from Forbes or the WSJ on the actual state of the family business. That being said, the focus of the film is not the time-share industry. I found it to be the way that excess consumption is viewed differently when it's being done by the wealthy, than by the rest of society. It is only the price level of belongings, and the sheer volume of space available to them, that separates this family from the ones featured on "Hoarders". Like many previous reviewers, I was saddened to see the neglect of animals and the excess of belongings - the bicycles being a very good example. The whole family seems to live impulse by impulse, which is why forgotten pets die, played-with pets aren't house-trained, and even when financial constraints are placed on shopping, the same pattern of overbuying continues, albeit at discount retailers instead of luxury shops. And yeesh, even in the cash-rolling-in years, they didn't put any money away for their childrens' education, because they thought they would always be so rich that the next generation wouldn't have to go to college? Nice comment about the parents' values of school for social, personal, and intellectual development. Good film, sad family. It'd be interesting to see a follow-up every 7 years or so, like Granada's 7-up series, to see what happens to those poor children.

a
ashleysears
Apr 23, 2014

I thought the case said this wasn't based on real life, that it was a spoof type of movie. Either way I could only watch it for 20 minutes then I had to turn it off. Pass on this one unless your super fans of these people.

f
franzkafka
Jan 25, 2014

He helped George Dubya steal the presidency using "non legal"means. They're friends with donald Trump and the thing that lives on top of his head. It evokes no sympathy but she really deserves a facial and all over the obvious enhancements. Boo, Yah! Oh, yea and this is an argument in favour of global warming and rising oceans. In a few years, I hope, most of Florida will be underwater. Good for the Manatees. Huzzah!
I noticed that sdaleo's review below gave 5 stars! Click on that person's completed shelves he/she/it gives 5 stars to everything they've ever borrowed.

b
badgirls
Jan 13, 2014

Oh the poor super rich! Just imagine you might not be able to complete your 90,000 square foot home/palace aka "Versailles" 'cause the "bad banks" wouldn't give you anymore money? Sometimes you have to wonder why some films/docs receive great reviews etc.? "The Queen of Versailles" is one of these films. Yes it might be technically very good but it concerns a disgustingly rich couple Jackie and David Siegel. David made all his money by starting and building a time share company called Westgate. This company "preys" on the lower income and signs them up for time shares using very high pressure sales. Westgate has been called "the worst thieves in Las Vegas". Too say this couple is creepy is putting it mildly. If you end up watching best to have a shower afterwards.

r
rslade
Jul 30, 2013

Completely and utterly pointless documentary about stupid rich people.

b
blueskies100
May 27, 2013

It is very diificult to feel any sort of empathy for these people. Google Westgate timeshares and then try to have any empathy for them. The ultra wealthy get tax breaks and other perks the working people can only dream of. Even bankruptcy would not mean they would lose their only home to live in.
The DVD had finger prints all over it. Really people, do you need to touch the DVD all over before you play it?

b
britprincess1
Apr 02, 2013

For those who saw this on the shelf, it has an appearance of something akin to the Real Housewives of wherever, but don't be deceived -- that is miles away from the actual content. And thank heavens for that. THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES is well crafted and spans several recent years, comparing in a metaphor the regal French lavishness that fell (re: Marie-Antoinette, the Palace of Versailles, the French Revolution, the guillotine, etc.) to our modern economically depressed times. When the recession hit, everyone was affected; the billionaire time-share resort owner David Siegel, his rags-to-riches beauty queen wife Jackie, and their eight children (seven biological children, and one they "inherited") are no exception. The documentary starts with the Siegels building an American replica of the Palace of Versailles, a beautiful, spacious, record-breakingly large home tailored to their very specific francophilic tastes. However, the market crashes and things don't go as planned. The disintegration of their fortune isn't kept solely at the financial aspects of their life, though, as their business lives seep into their personal and family lives. We find out who people really are when the pennies are precious and the dollars scarce. You may be surprised at what the Siegels will and won't sacrifice: money, business, pride, family, and love. I highly recommend this story to anyone who has ever reevaluated what really matters in life.

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britprincess1
Apr 02, 2013

britprincess1 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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gsoone
Sep 08, 2016

The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. The film follows two unique characters, whose rags-to-riches-to-rags success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream.

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