Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Queen of Versailles

I wonder if Erroll Morris was jealous that he didn't find this family first. This film is incredible! Incredible! I loved it the way it is but part of me would have loved to have seen it get the Tabloid treatment.

Then again, this film is perfect as is. What started as a straightforward doc about a ridiculouly tacky and rich family determined to build the largest house in the United States (modeled after Versailles of course) turns into a sad character study/document about our country's collapsing economy circa 2008. The 2007 scenes are almost like the plot device used so often of stories being set right before huge dates in history like 12/6/41, 11/21/63, or 9/10/11. The audience knows what the fictional characters don't. 

In this case though, this shit was real! And at first I was rooting for these people to get their comeuppance. But when it happens, it is more sad than exhilirating.

Jackie Siegel is a fascinating person and a good portrait of a smart person deliberately keeping her head in the sand. I'd love to see an update about what happens to her in the next few years.

Directed by Lauren Greenfield
Lincoln Center

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