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The Queen of Versailles - Preview

The Queen of Versailles

Preview by Jack Foley

FOLLOWING on from the hugely successful theatrical release, Dogwoof will release Lauren Greenfield’s incredible documentary The Queen of Versailles to DVD on January 28, 2013, featuring additional material including: trailers, deleted scenes, and interviews with the director.

We first meet Jackie and David Siegel, happy and content; they are building their dream home, the USA’s largest home in Orlando, Florida, modelled on the Versailles palace in France.

It will have a wing for their seven children, a cinema, skating rink, 30 bathrooms, everything a modern billionaire may need. At the same time David is selling time share holiday villas, selling the average US citizen a taste of the good life.

But things fall apart rapidly when the 2008 financial crisis hits and building on Versailles must cease, the time share business is faltering and suddenly David turns from billionaire deal-maker to a tired old man.

Will Jackie be able to fulfil her American dream despite having to fly on commercial airlines, remove her children from private school, and slash her domestic staff?

The Queen of Versailles is a deft and surprisingly subtle piece of filmmaking; Lauren Greenfield’s knowing camera not only interviews but captures private moments in the Siegel’s’ lives, and she constructs metaphors to create portraits of family, friends, colleagues, nannies and children as their rarefied world is turned upside down.

The result is a hypnotic film of a family and the demise of the American Dream.

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