Short Takes: “The Queen of Versailles”

Courtesy of Evergreen Pictures

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The Queen of Versailles

MAGNOLIA PICTURES

101 minutes

The queen is Jacqueline Siegel, an IBM engineer cum Mrs. Florida. Her decades-older husband is America’s “timeshare king.” Together they’re building a 90,000-square-foot mansion dubbed Versailles. The film starts out as a better-than-fiction peek at the foibles of the 0.01 percent, but as the subprime crisis hits, it becomes a meditation on the collapse of a lifestyle built on debt. The Siegels struggle to save their kingdom, but just when you start feeling for them, Jackie opens another tin of caviar, and the title becomes all too apt.

This review originally appeared in our July/August issue of Mother Jones. 

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