The Queen of Versailles

Rated PG 100 min. 2012

The Queen of Versailles (NR) Watching The Queen of Versailles is like watching any Real Housewives of (insert city name here) reality show on Bravo, but better, because it's more honest. We first meet Jaqueline Siegel, the nouveau-riche trophy wife of Westgate Resorts owner David A. Siegel and mother to seven of his kids (not including their adopted child), as the family builds their grand mansion in Orlando, the largest single-family home ever. And then the bottom falls out of the economy, and Westgate and the Siegels are not safe from the blowback. It becomes harder and harder for Jackie to keep her family together, and harder for them to hold onto the lifestyle they once knew, including their personal, half-built Versailles. Greenfield (who also directed the excellent HBO eating disorder documentary Thin) hit the jackpot with the timing on this one, capturing a story as it goes in a completely different direction than what she expected, and the Siegels provide plenty of fodder. There are times when Jackie seems drunk, but mostly she's just clueless, loading up cart after cart of Wal-Mart presents and letting her dogs poop all over the house while her husband tries to salvage his company in the other room. In an age when it seems like everyone's family struggles, it might be hard to feel much sympathy for this family, but that doesn't make Queen of Versailles any less entertaining. As the cliche goes, it has all the appeal of a train wreck: You want to look away, but you can't. It's too uncomfortable and too sad and too riveting. —Susan Cohen

Film Credits

Official Site: www.magpictures.com/queenofversailles

Director: Lauren Greenfield

Producer: Lauren Greenfield and Danielle Renfrew Behrens

Cast: Jackie Siegel, David Siegel and Virginia Nebel

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The Queen of Versailles

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