I recently watched an interesting documentary ‘The Queen of Versailles,’ which focuses on a Floridian billionaire, his ditzy wife, and their quest to build the largest house in America.
The intent of the movie was about the couples conspicuous consumption: Jackie and David Siegel were building a 90,000 square foot palace in the image of the original Versailles.
The film opens prior to the economic crisis while construction on the house is in full swing. The wastefulness, chaotic tackiness, and unabashed gluttony of the Siegel family is on display. But, the documentary is also witness to the shift that occurs as a result of the financial crisis. Credit dries up. Siegel’s timeshare business, which relies on cheap credit, begins to flounder. Versailles falls into disrepair. The family begins to crack. “This is almost like a riches-to-rages story,” Siegel tells the camera.
The film is an amazing portrait of a hyper-opulent version of the american dream, and the ridiculously wealthy (and crazy) family that fuels it. The juxtaposition of the Siegel’s wealth in an increasingly desolate environment was inspiring to me. Their dreams became a plastic mirage, something that they could only see but never reach.
Basically, you really should see this movie!
Jackie Siegel poses with her daughters and dog in front of their private jet
A sea of golden accessories
The Siegel family limo takes a trip through the drive-in
Jackie’s pet dog meets her stuffed dog