Watch: The Queen of Versailles 2012 123movies, Full Movie Online – In 2008, the Siegel family was top of the heap with the wealthy and politically influential David Siegel running the successful Westgate Resorts time-share business. To enjoy their good life, he and his engineer turned beauty queen trophy wife, Jackie, were building the largest single family private home in America. Suddenly, both the US economy and Westgate were rocked by the devastating sub-prime mortgage collapse. In the new economic reality with the business teetering on ruin, we follow the Siegels as they struggle to scale down their grotesquely ostentatious lifestyle. For this overprivileged family, accepting that situation proved a dispiriting struggle even as their unfinished dream home became a monument of their superficial values..
Plot: With the epic dimensions of a Shakespearean tragedy, The Queen of Versailles follows billionaires Jackie and David’s rags-to-riches story to uncover the innate virtues and flaws of their American dream. We open on the triumphant construction of the biggest house in America, a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles. Since a booming time-share business built on the real-estate bubble is financing it, the economic crisis brings progress to a halt and seals the fate of its owners. We witness the impact of this turn of fortune over the next two years in a riveting film fraught with delusion, denial, and self-effacing humor.
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|7.1/10 Votes: 13,329|
|95% | RottenTomatoes|
|80/100 | MetaCritic|
|N/A Votes: 167 Popularity: 6.244 | TMDB|
A long and unpleasant journey…
“The Queen of Versailles” is an extremely unusual documentary, and I can only assume the histrionic nature of the Siegel family is why the film was ever made. It consists of a camera crew following this family (and in particular Jackie and her husband David) during a period which appears to be about two years to three. I honestly cannot expect most families being willing to have their lives chronicled and disrupted like this–particularly because the second half of the film shows the family at their worst. Odd, that’s for sure.
When the film begins, David Siegel is an incredibly wealthy man. He’s made his fortune with his vast empire of time share properties and because he is so wealthy, he and his wife are in the process of building a new home they nickname ‘Versailles’. It is projected to be the largest single family home in America! During most of this period of the film the camera follows Jackie–a woman who seems to love the attention and who lives a charmed life of luxury.
Part-way through the film, however, comes the market and housing crash of 2008. And with it, disposable incomes have diminished–making selling of time shares almost impossible. Additionally, bank financing, which had previously been easy to obtain by David, suddenly evaporated–leaving his heavily leveraged empire on the brink of collapse. During this period of the film, Jackie has come to accept that she WON’T be moving into the new palace–and they might lose their current home as well. She handles this by shopping.
It’s rather hard to adequately rate this film. On one hand, the filmmakers have provided a wholly unique film showing these folks–warts and all. And, it is well constructed and compelling. But on the other hand, there really is nothing to like or admire about these folks. Despite their wealth, they seem spiritually impoverished, self-centered and sad…profoundly sad. In fact, after seeing the film, my entire family felt depressed and insisted we watch something uplifting or fun. Seeing this film is anything but fun and it’s not even good for someone wanting to laugh at the Siegels. They aren’t funny….just profoundly sad. A very sad marriage, spoiled kids, a love of money, looks and possessions…all quite depressing to witness.
Plus ca change, plus c’est meme chose
How does one become fantastically rich? Through being more genuinely valuable to the rest of humanity than anyone else – or through working out how to make the system work for you? David Siegel made a fortune by pressure-selling timeshare accommodation; by taking a down-payment from and then arranging a mortgage for his customers; and then using those mortgages as collateral for advances from the banks, used in turn to pay for more development. In other words, even the collateral for his leverage itself took the form of debt! Underpinning this all was the magic of perpetually increasing house-prices, that promised to leave everyone in profit. But in 2008 the market stalled; no-one wanted to buy timeshare; exiting owners defaulted on their mortgages; and the banks would no longer take such borrowings as collateral for advances. Siegel’s businesses went into free-fall.
‘The Queen of Versailles’ started as an account of the construction, by Siegel and his wife, of America’s largest house. And in spite of the monstrosity of the whole thing, the couple come across as reasonably down-to-earth and engaging. But once the recession strikes, the family are caught up in a financial nightmare. On one hand, under this stress, the masks fall off, and David in particular betrays himself as a mean man with an exaggerated sense of entitlement, without a trace of recognition that his extreme prior good fortune was not a simple result of personal merit. One can start to see the man who has upgraded his family (via divorce and remarriage to a younger model) on two previous occasions. His current wife, Jackie (who was in fact – surprise! – an actual model) may previously have seemed grounded but now we see her inability to stop spending money, even when (in theory) she has none.
And yet one can almost sympathise with the family. The couple express incredulity when it’s suggested that they solve their financial problems not just by selling their unfinished palace (which has become a millstone around their necks) but by moving into an apartment like anyone else. And yet – when you have nine children, dozens of servants, countless pets – how could you possibly live in an apartment? The world should surely not let anyone become as rich as it did the Seigels. And yet, it’s hard to avoid feeling for them as they contemplate downsizing.
It’s a fascinating documentary. A glance on Wikipedia tells us what has happened since it was completed. Siegel is back in business, and is even working on completing his Versailles again. And one of the couple’s kids is dead, at the age of eighteen, of a drug overdose. Maybe that sympathy was misplaced. Plus ca change, as they say, plus c’est la meme chose.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 43 min (103 min), 1 hr 40 min (100 min) (USA), 55 min (TV) (Netherlands)
Director Lauren Greenfield
Actors Jaqueline Siegel, David Siegel, Lorraine Barrett
Country United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Denmark
Awards 8 wins & 27 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio N/A
Film Length N/A
Negative Format N/A
Cinematographic Process N/A
Printed Film Format N/A