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A real-life riches-to-rags story, Lauren Greenfield's Sundance award-winning documentary follows real-estate billionaires David and Jackie Siegel as their cherished dream of building the largest private residence in the United States — a sprawling mansion inspired by the palace of Versailles — comes crashing up against harsh reality when they are hit hard by the economic crisis.
Best Director, Sundance Film Festival 2012
A real-life riches-to-rags story, Lauren Greenfield's Sundance favourite The Queen of Versailles follows real-estate billionaire David Siegel and his wife Jackie as they embark on the construction of their dream home: a sprawling, 90,0000-square-foot mansion inspired by the palace of Versailles, designed to be the largest private residence in the United States. But when the economic crisis hits and causes the real-estate bubble to burst, progress grinds to a halt and seals the Siegels' fate. Chronicling the decline in the Siegels' fortunes over the course of two years, Greenfield's riveting documentary explores both the virtues and tragic flaws of the American Dream. "A gaudy guilty pleasure that is also a piece of trenchant social criticism . . . a sprawling, richly detailed study of ambition, desire and the wild swings of fortune that are included in the price of the capitalist ticket" (A.O. Scott, The New York Times).