The Queen of Versailles (2012)

9.0 Overall Score

Good looking slick documentary that makes you feel good about not being a millionaire

A bad sign for America's future

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Queen of Versailles

Studio:  Magnolia Pictures

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  January 19, 2012 (Sundance)/July 20, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG


Wal-Mart is so pedestrian…

David and Jackie Siegel have a plan to build one of the biggest if not the biggest home in the United States.  As owner of the Westgate Resorts, they are living high life while selling timeshares and living in their opulent home in Orlando while dreaming of even bigger.  In 2008, the housing market bursts and throws the Siegels’ plans into a tailspin.  Can Jackie and David survive as only millionaires instead of billionaires?

Directed by Lauren Greenfield, The Queen of Versailles was a documentary following the rich and famous.  Released at Sundance, the movie received positive reviews, but faced lawsuits from the Siegels who disagreed with their portrayal.

I wanted to see The Queen of Versailles when it was originally released, but I kind of forgot about it.  The oldest daughter died from drug overdose and that makes watching this a bit tragic.  It is hard to watch the documentary without thinking of this, but it also shows how it potentially led to this sad turn.


Maybe if he doesn’t worry about Ms. America so much, his company would do better…

It is hard to decide who is more at fault in the situation the family gets in.  I feel Jackie plays up the documentary.  She didn’t come from money and I know she doesn’t expect a “driver” at a rental car counter (yet she says it).  She seems to think she’s making a Real Housewives series and recognizes that playing up her richness is what people will come to see.  She is material and she thinks money means love (and it gets love from people).

In that sense, I put more fault on David Siegel.  He was a self-made man who profited off of conning others into timeshares that they couldn’t afford.  I know it is part of the fault of buyers and the buyers will blame him and he will blame the government for approving the loans, but he knew what people can afford (they’re called moochers for wanting something for free).  He even admits to essentially help buying he the election in Florida for Bush.  He allows things to get out of control and loves being worshipped (despite what he says)…and pays for it by the end of the documentary.


Yeah…that’s classy… (they probably think so)

The documentary shows how delusional the family is in general.  The children are being raised into it and show confusion through the movie and this confusion as they start to become their parents.  The term schadenfreude is thrown around in regards to this documentary (enjoying the suffering of others), but it isn’t quite right because it is almost pity more than joy…they just don’t get it (like giving bikes and puppies when they already have plenty).

The Queen of Versailles is a great example of how money doesn’t mean class.  When I used to play The Sims, I would get angry that the characters wouldn’t clean up after themselves without a maid…but this proves it wasn’t that much of a stretch.  Becoming rich (for the Siegels) means losing the inability to function like a real people.  They’re like children who need to be watched…but they can buy and sell you.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response