Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Living in Orlando FL, I was very interested in seeing “The Queen of Versailles”. This film follows the up and down (mostly down) road for the David Siegel, owner of Westgate Resorts, his wife Jackie and their family. It follows the plans of billionaire family to build the biggest house in America and then dealing with the economy crash of 2008. I want to say I really enjoyed this film but I think I enjoyed more seeing them crash and burn and trying to pretend that they are normal people. Overall it is well directed for sure and I would like to see a follow-up in a few years.
Official Synopsis: The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. With epic proportions of Shakespearean tragedy, the film follows two unique characters, whose rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. The film begins with the family triumphantly constructing the largest privately-owned house in America, a 90,000 sq. ft. palace. Over thenext two years, their sprawling empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis. Major changes in lifestyle and character ensue within the cross-cultural household of family members and domestic staff.
When comes to documentaries, the Blu-ray presentations are never overly impressive. But the 1080p transfer is still sharp and the dialogue is clear. That 90,000 sq. ft house really would have looked amazing. Director Lauren Greenfield did manage to capture some really nice shots of the riches of Florida. The documentary also took home the U.S. Directing Award for Documentary Film at last year’s 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The special features though are lacking a bit here. There are a few extra deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer. I wasn’t really expecting much more here to be honest.