PG (brief vulgar language); 100 min.
For the first half of The Queen of Versailles, you gaze at Jackie and David Siegel with fascinated disgust. She's a 43-year-old mother of eight, a former model and beauty queen with an artificially enhanced super-bosom. He's a 74-year-old magnate, the CEO of Westgate Resorts, the largest timeshare company in the world.
The family lives in Orlando, in a mansion that has 17 bathrooms, but the Siegels decide they need larger digs. They will build a house with 30 bathrooms, 10 kitchens, two tennis courts, a skating rink, a bowling alley, a gym and a baseball field. That was the plan, anyway. Director Lauren Greenfield started shooting the film in 2007, when the Siegels were on track to earn $1 billion, and kept filming for three years, after the bottom fell out of the timeshare industry, taking the family fortune with it.
The heart of The Queen of Versailles rests with the increasingly troubled couple, whose divide grows larger with every financial setback, and especially Jackie, who seems either unwilling or unable to see that her husband, disappointed by his own failure and annoyed by her indefatigable spirit, is slowly growing to hate her. By the end, the movie has pulled off a small miracle: You become absorbed in the lives of these people for who they are and not what they own.
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-- Rene Rodriguez, McClatchy Newspapers