Monday, July 16, 2012

The Queen of Versailles Movie Review

'The Queen of Versailles' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello Director: Lauren Greenfield (‘Thin,’ ‘Kids + Money’) Starring: David Siegel, Jackie Siegel People are often willing to do whatever it takes in order to achieve their goals and dreams, while also becoming financially successful. But it becomes even more difficult for a person to keep the dream after it has already been realized, and everything they’ve worked so hard for has come tumbling down. This devastating drama unfolds in director Lauren Greenfield’s new documentary, ‘The Queen of Versailles,’ showing that the bigger a fortune and dream a person has, the harder it is to adjust once it’s taken away. ‘The Queen of Versailles’ follows the riches-to-rags Floridan billionaire David Siegel, the founder and owner of the largest privately owned timeshare company in the world, Westgate Resorts. David and his third and current wife, Jackie, are living the exorbitant lifestyle that most Americans can only dream about. The two, who both came from modest upbringings, started building the largest one family home in America before the fall of the economy in 2008. However, their sprawling empire begins to collapse after the real estate and vacation markets begin to decline in the midst of the economic crisis. The Siegel family must put their dream home, which is modeled after the Palace of Versailles in France, on the market as they undergo drastic lifestyle changes. Not only do David and Jackie have to lay off thousands of employees in order to keep their business in operation, they must also find a way to financially support their eight young children. Greenfield, who won the U.S. Directing Award for Documentary Film at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for ‘The Queen of Versailles,’ masterfully showcased the sociological issues plaguing American society since the fall of the economy four years ago. After meeting Jackie in 2007 while photographing Donatella Versace for Elle Magazine, the director decided to chronicle the Siegel’s lavish lifestyle. Greenfield perfectly portrayed the Siegel family as personifying the rich lifestyle America has become obsessed with in recent years. Greenfield gracefully indulged the carefree lifestyle that many people yearn for, in which they can spend as much money as they want without any real consequences. To continue reading this review, please click here.

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