Mother Betty sent me the New York Times review of Queen of Versailles and I had to see it immediately. Do you know about this documentary? Watch the trailer:
I really loved this! A riches-to-rags story that tugged at my heartstrings and made me laugh, it was not what I expected. First of all, when times were good, they were freaking great. I was devastated by not seeing this mansion finished, because the plans were so over-the-top. The glimpse of the five million they spent on the marble alone had me reeling for a few days.
But more than the jaw dropping wealth, this film is a story of real-life characters you just love to love. After years of watching Real Housewives, I anticipated vulgar, unlikeable people with no personalities and haughty arrogance. What I saw was just the opposite. With eight kids and seemingly endless pets, they are just like every other crazy family. The mother shows warmth and love and occasional exasperation. The teens are awkward and gross, just like normal teens. The dad is cranky and works too much. The dogs poop everywhere. The staff is an extended part of the family.
Small stories are woven throughout, painting a bleak economic picture of struggle. The limo driver who was once a millionaire himself, the thousands of employees who were laid off, the chaos that ensues when a family has outgrown its space, and a strained marriage. If watching an extremely rich family fall from grace doesn’t exactly break your heart, the life story of the nanny certainly will.
This was so well done. It made us want to know more about the Siegel family, and I’m inclined to believe everyone in the theater felt the same way. Not one person in the theater got up to leave until the credits had finished rolling, just in case there was an extra scene. (There wasn’t.) We all wanted more.
I highly recommend watching it.