I started out wanting to hate these people but by the end just felt sorry for them. That they both came from humble beginnings yet have forgotten what those beginnings were like says much about what sort of people they are. For example, Jackie asking the car rental car about "her driver". Really? Have you travelled so far from the real world? They are in the end pathetic and mindless.
There's a lot in this movie that's an insightful meditation on what it means to be wealthy, to make money, to lose it but it's a little long and loses structure in the latter half. I found the parts with "normal" people (the nannies, employees, childhood friends, even the kids) speaking about their own experiences (with money or with the Siegels) more interesting than the Siegel couple themselves.
Entertaining, often shocking documentary which takes the best and worst of reality television and drapes it in an overly ironic, arch style - one of them says something ridiculous, then cut to something else to make an even bigger mockery of it - that becomes repetitive by about the halfway stage. Worth watching and with a sad addendum that Victoria Siegel died of an overdose in 2014.
In the end these incredibly rich people have all the same problems as the poor and middle class people their actions bankrupted. The American dream was purchased on credit, or "cheap money." The scene where the Filipino nanny gives you a tour of the playhouse she is allowed to live in - and grateful for - with their mansion in the background was absolutely heartbreaking.
Appalling. How should one be able to formally criticize a documentary about such outrageously horrible people? I can't. But then, "The Queen of Versailles" only shows that good old Adorno was right: there is no right life in the wrong one. Addendum: After watching the film, I learned that one of the Siegel's daughters died of an overdose recently.
Watching this back to back with the first Republican Debate of 2015 caused me to scream at the television more than must be healthy. A portrait of unadulterated, banal evil that never quite satisfies and skates a bit too close to reality show eye-rolling and cheap exploitation. Damning but you'll feel dirty after.
The Sims (with the money cheats on) in real life, featuring: tacky new money with hoarding tendencies! A boring, pervy rich guy who even admits to clandestinely getting Bush II elected! Spoiled rotten and poorly socialized children of all ages! Dead pets! And last but not least, a Filipina nanny forced to dress up as a reindeer! Great fodder for students in an ‘intro to economics’ class.