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Jackie Siegel
David Siegel.
Lauren Greenfield.
Running Time
100 minutes

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The Queen Of Versailles
Second in line to the King Of Kong

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Bling matriarch Jackie Siegel sets her heart on building America's biggest mansion, a 90,000-square-foot Xanadu funded by her real-estate mogul husband. Then, with the pair midway through the project and leveraged to the eyeballs, the economy collapses beneath them.

The Queen Of Versailles
There is a moment in this doc that is as revealing as it is alarming. As their finances reach meltdown and they’re forced to take rental cars, the Siegel family matriarch, Jackie, approaches the Hertz desk to enquire where her car is and what the driver’s name might be. David — a time-share baron — and Jackie started to build a house, the country’s largest, that they couldn’t complete when the financial crisis hit; caught, like many of their customers, in a web of overleveraging, another family trying desperately to keep their home. It’s a blunt metaphor for the downsizing of the American Dream, but a prescient and engaging one nevertheless.

A bizarre and mesmerising journey to the heart of Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Reviewed by Philip Wilding

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