Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Queen of Versailles ★★★☆☆

Inverting the age-old 'rags to riches' dynamic, Lauren Greenfield's The Queen of Versailles (2012) takes an alternative perspective on the recent economic crisis to befall America by examining the Siegel family - a wealthy 'new money' household who made their fortune selling time shares before almost losing it all during the financial downturn of 2008.

Originally planned as a documentary following the construction of the Siegel's 90,000 square-foot mansion (which took the Palace of Versailles as its major aesthetic inspiration), The Queen of Versailles took a completely different route when the billion pound empire of patriarch David Siegel (president and CEO of Westgate Resorts) faced ruin after the 2008 economic collapse. Director Greenfield was lucky enough to capture these two varying states of the Siegel family, observing their lavish and care-free lifestyle before becoming witness to their difficulty adapting to a more frugal existence.


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