The Queen of Versailles (2012)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The Queen of Versailles is a timely, engaging, and richly drawn portrait of the American Dream improbably composed of equal parts compassion and schadenfreude.


Movie Info

The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. With epic proportions of Shakespearean tragedy, the film follows two unique characters, whose rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. The film begins with the family triumphantly constructing the biggest house in America, a 90,000 sq. ft. palace. Over the next two years, their sprawling empire, … More

Rating: PG (for thematic elements and language)
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 13, 2012
Box Office: $2.4M
Runtime:
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site

Cast


as David Siegel

as Jackie Siegel

as Virginia Nebel

News & Interviews for The Queen of Versailles

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Critic Reviews for The Queen of Versailles

All Critics (106) | Top Critics (32)

It's priceless.

Full Review… | September 5, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

An ultimately haunting worst-case-scenario for Americans living beyond their means after the bottom dropped out.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

A pretty effective warning shot across the bow of the one percenters.

Full Review… | January 12, 2014
Cinemania

Humanizes the upper one percent in a 100-percent entertaining way.

Full Review… | May 26, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

Strangely entertaining and revealing documentary about a culture obsessed with money and people aspiring to a life they can't afford. Greed is good once again if you can borrow enough money to consume all you desire. Mind the debt gap.

Full Review… | January 22, 2013
The Popcorn Junkie

...their plight plays like the financial crisis in miniature. Or perhaps it's in macro.

Full Review… | December 15, 2012
LarsenOnFilm

Audience Reviews for The Queen of Versailles

This may be the most fascinating documentary to be made solely about a family since "An American Family." Jackie and David Siegel are some of the most shallow and yet intelligent people in America, being worth billions, both having a good education, and business acumen. They have gaudy taste, a love of McDonald's, and an inability to understand the debt they owe. Jackie spends too much money, plans for a huge home they now can't afford, and suffers under her husband's ill treatment and cranky attitude. The film starts with them doing well in 2008, planning to build the biggest home in America, and ends two years later with bankruptcy, a defaulted mortgage, and a shipwrecked marriage. The documentarians also interviewed their nannies, their children, their relatives, and others affected by the recession's claim on Siegel's billion dollar company. It's both sad to watch them fall from their pedestal, and creepily satisfying to watch them now know loss. The film ends on a sour note as the family unit starts to collapse, and nothing seems to be resolved. This is a must watch for anyone who loves people who are characters in and of themselves.

FrizzDrop
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Sublime. Trash has never been so white!

cchclaw
Christian C

Super Reviewer

There are thousands of stories about the impact of the economic crisis going on in the U.S. "Queen of Versailles" is one of those stories, and it happens to be one of the most interesting ones. This is a documentary about David Seigel, a billionaire who runs Westgate resorts, and his family as they build the biggest house in the U.S. At 90,000 sq. ft it is going to be something unbelievable to behold. 30 bathrooms, 17 kitchens, it's going to have it all. Then in the middle, the documentary becomes something else, as real estate bubble causes the Seigels to lose a fortune, lay off 7,000 employees, and risk losing everything. Their house becomes an unfinished dream, while David searches for a way to fix everything. The Seigels aren't bad people, they actually come off very nice, and seem like genuine good people. But, they are spoiled and filthy rich, so seeing them struggle financially is kind of funny, and you don't feel sorry for them at all really, but you like them. This is very entertaining and interesting, one of the better documentaries of the year. Also, it's a movie that will make you say "wtf?" probably more than any other movie of the year.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

The Queen of Versailles Quotes

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