The Queen of Versailles - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Queen of Versailles Reviews

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July 11, 2016
Interesting to watch. It gives a glimpse into the problems of a 1%er's life.
June 16, 2016
Heard it showed how trashy the family was - I personally didn't see that. Thought they were eccentric but ok. Bit disappointed they didnt show the finished house (if it ever was finished...)
May 3, 2016
Insane life of a rich trophy wife. Riches to "rags" story?
½ November 25, 2015
I can't believe this person exists. I hate her though I couldn't stop watching and I never felt bad for these people. I still don't think that she is understanding living at a different level.
October 15, 2015
Interesting...up to a point.

A documentary on the lives of David and Jackie Siegel. He is the founder and owner of Westgate Resorts, the largest timeshare resort company in the world and she is his wife. Focuses more on her (hence the title): her rise from humble beginnings to the wife of a billionaire, the palatial house they were building ("Versailles", after the French palace) and then the problems they and the company faced in the wake of the GFC.

Quite interesting for about the first half. You see her humble beginnings, how he made his fortune and his plans for his company. You also see how the GFC turned everything upside down, how the banks, despite government bailouts, did their best to undermine their own debtors and seemed more interested in claiming their assets than receiving debt payments. It is an interesting study in how to make and lose a fortune, the consequences of the GFC and the unscrupulous practices of the banks (ironically, the same organisations who caused the GFC).

With these points made, however, the movie seems to run out of things to say. It drifts for the latter half. About the only interesting observation from then on is how she is unable to adjust to a much-diminished budget (even just having a budget would have been foreign to her). This creates a strain in the household, as he is desperately trying to cut costs.

The latter half does reduce the empathy one has for the characters, especially Jackie. In the first half they seemed reasonably normal, despite their wealth. It is in the second half she loses our engagement by behaving rather arrogantly.

Overall: worth watching, but it does feel like a drag in the second half.
July 20, 2015
"When you started filming, we are in the tops of the world. Now, we..."
½ July 7, 2015
Are you kidding me. Embarrassing
June 3, 2015
A film that follows a rich couple as they go from riches to rags due to the stock market crash a few years ago. Heart-wrenching when focused on those affected by the couple, this film shows how those who are materialistic and power-hungry live in denial after everything is taken away from them. From a technical point of view, the documentary is beautifully filmed and expertly edited.
½ May 13, 2015
Sometime you wonder if this doc's subjects are aware of the same impending doom that the audience is aware of. A superb study of the rich and not-so-famous, The Queen of Versailles dares you to sympathize with these 100% unrelatable divas of fortune.
April 5, 2015
Shameful excess.
Identifies exactly what is wrong in this world.
Like a good black comedy these people have no redeeming features.
March 26, 2015
This is a curious case: a well-made, compelling documentary about shallow, awful people. The movie follows the Siegels, who apparently own the largest timeshare company in the world, and are obscenely wealthy on an almost unimaginable scale. When the filmmakers first started shooting the film in early 2008, the Siegels were on top of the world - they were currently building what would have been the largest house in America, since their current enormous mansion somehow wasn't big enough. But then, in the middle of filming, the financial crisis of 2008 happened, and a couple of years later they were in (for them) dire financial straits, with their business laying off thousands of employees and on the brink of going bankrupt entirely. While the filmmakers - who totally efface their own presence and provide no explicit commentary one way or the other on their subjects - do a good job of presenting a nuanced, human, even sympathetic portrayal of these people, I was nevertheless by the end of the film dying to see this rich old bastard and his trophy wife and their bratty kids get the Funny Games treatment. Which, funnily enough, leads into my next review.
February 26, 2015
Loved this portrait of the 1%
½ February 23, 2015
This movie starts as rags to riches for both David & Jackie Siegel but through sheer ignorance and willpower they find themselves back at rags again. That's the sad sickness of a consumer culture where they can't help themselves, no matter how dire times become they'll keep spending money on things they don't need simply so they can have it. They attempt to build the largest house in America, but then the financial crisis hits and the skeletal mansion becomes a taunting spectre. It's comically sickening watch, but if you stare long enough, the Siegels are bizarrely human. They're no different than your neighbors in the suburbs, they just have more money and terrible taste.
The schadenfreude comes from the words of these people themselves who view this life as normal and take pride in their views. David proudly admits to helping George W. Bush get elected, and Jackie proudly puts her dead, stuffed Pomeranians on display. This is the pinnacle of with a reality show hubris, and by the end you won't be sure whether to laugh or scream.
½ February 21, 2015
This is film that started out as a documentary about the typoon David Siegel and his attempt to build Americas largetst house but then, as luck would have it, the stock market crashed during the making of the film and it then turned into a very rich family coming to terms with the stress of money problems, focusing on his trophy wife who doesn't know how to live without haemoraging money on a daily basis. Quite interesting, a bit car-crash, not very sad.
½ February 6, 2015
Fascinating and frustrating.
January 10, 2015
This was an amazing expose on the rich republican and famous. I applaud Jackie for attempting to be a "normal" person. I don't feel she is intentionally aloof - and does try. Obviously she likes being married to a sugar daddy and has obvious affection for David, despite the fact that he doesn't for her. She had 7 children, no small feat. The fact that he has no enlightenment over the fact that the traditional 98% society is not perfect, is not right - and will give no credit to the Obama presidency for his recovery is expected. I LOVE that he states (twice, in two different, significant interviews) that he is SINGLEHANDEDLY, yes, SINGLEHANDEDLY responsible for GW Bush's Election and "we probably wouldn't have gotten involved in Iraq if I wouldn't have stuck my nose in"
Does anyone notice that there has been NOTHING done to refute these statements and that he has had so many pictures with republicans (including George and Jeb Bush)?!!!! He has made so much money off of Walmart shopping blue collar workers... and makes no bones about it. He even tried to take this company to court to throw the credibility of this video out - to no avail..as the courts looked into all the footage and can find zero evidence that these people didn't cooperate of their own accord. They certainly did cooperate and they came back from the brink - from bankruptcy and total insolvency, from losing their "Versailles" to solvency, returning to build their Versailles and getting back in the black (when Mr. Siegal stated that if Obama was elected he would lose everything). When questioned about his resurgence and current success and his erroneous statements about President Obama being elected Mr. Siegel did not comment. I find this simply amazing, that a man states he has Singlehandedly gotten someone elected, had an influence on getting us into the Iraq war (and I find these statements to have some basis, since he was a VERY successful billionaire at the time of President Bush's elections and states he "won't say How he did this because "some of it was illegal"!!!! I dare Republicans to watch this and I dare them to find evidence that George W. Bush or anyone connected to him has ever, ever refuted these statements. If this was anyway connected to President Clinton, it would have been on the news on every channel until he was impeached. I wonder, why, why, except for money and the influence of the Rich, was President Bush allowed to continue, unencumbered, in view of these statements and illegalities??!! Sad, sad - but supports my view that the President has much less influence than the rich and famous 98% that continue to contribute to the demise of this great nation. Until the apathetic voter gets off their behind and cares enough to investigate and question their congressmen, senators and each other....this demise will continue.
January 4, 2015
Every American should see what real greed looks like!
December 8, 2014
I kind of wish I would have watched it before I knew that these ridiculous people managed to keep their sick mansion, because then maybe I would not be so outraged. The movie is definitely well-made, and if it was designed to piss me off, it did a great job!
November 30, 2014
This is the Gray Gardens documentary of the twenty first century! Well, that documentary dealt with crazy "old money" people ...this time The Queen of Versailles deals with excesses of the American Dream and the fall of the nouveau riche. This was a challenge for myself just for me to view this film. The cinema verite' is reflexive and gives off a bit of the vibe of The Real Wives of Orange County. However after you put aside the reality TV effect...the documentary hits home when you see her childhood friends face foreclosure and her immigrant nanny cry because she did not see her son for over 18 years. It even hits closer to home when you see people who cannot control their excesses become kingmakers to people who handle American politics in the same fashion. And also hard when you realize how many people lost their jobs. You cannot feel sorry for this beauty queen and her time-share tycoon for they sold to people who could not possibly afford those time shares. It was all about fast money and power. Do I decry the thought about being rich. No...do I hope things will turn out...well, they were not bad off towards the end of the movie...and if things got worse...I am sure they had a spare million at least... This is a reflection of the world today...and it is a very revealing documentary if you look closely at what is being said.
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