The Queen of Versailles

First Hit:  A well-executed eye-opener highlighting stupidity and excess.

They are crowded in their current home with 17 bathrooms and Jackie Siegel believes they really need more – really!

Her husband David wants to build this new house because “he can”. He’s prideful that he believes that he alone got George W. Bush elected. Living in Orlando their current home is filled with 8 children, many nannies, house helpers and drivers.

From a film point of view, this is wonderfully done. The access Lauren Greenfield had to both Jackie and David really allows the audience to watch the evolution of the Siegel’s belief of their financial invincibility which leads to their financial demise. Therefore, let me make one thing clear, this is a great documentary film because it lets you see the evolution of this family, unfettered. Greenfield does this without an opinion; she just lets us watch degradation of the household as their financial empire falls apart.

I think my three favorite and telling scenes are:  Jackie renting a car from Hertz and then wondering who their driver will be, the rental agent’s face was priceless. When Jackie discovers that their pet lizard is dead - highlighting the neglect of everything in their family except her botox injections.  And, when they are shopping at Walmart, buying stuff they don’t need, and when the nanny brings the new bike through the garage, we see at least 20 unused bikes while the nanny shakes her head in disbelief.

My opinion about the Siegel’s is that they are not very smart, have little idea about what they are doing from a holistic sense, think that money equates to being smart, and deserve the financial pain they are going through because of the way they treated the people to whom they sold timeshares.

The 90,000 square foot home with its 30 bathrooms may never be finished, and even if they do, I don’t see David, Jackie, and the kids being happy. The illusion has been discovered by them as well.

Greenfield did a fantastic job of giving us a view into this couple.

Overall:  This is a well done documentary of a family facing crisis.