Thursday, October 4, 2012

95% The Queen of Versailles

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (92) | Rotten (5)

Seriously, if this was the American Dream, couldn't we have come up with something better?

"The Queen of Versailles" is funny, sad, infuriating, instructive. It's the American Dream inflated to ridiculous extremes, until it bursts.

More than a social morality tale, this is a character study, with the title well chosen.

"The Queen of Versailles" ought to be required viewing for anyone who blames the rich for yanking the rug out from under America's economy.

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.

What I left with was not hatred. I disapprove of the values they represent, but I also find them fascinating and just slightly lovable.

a repetitive exercise in schadenfreude, and the Siegels don't do much to alter that... The Queen of Versailles leaves viewers with one feeling about the Siegels: Let them eat stale cake.

Documentaries are rarely as hilarious as this one. Well, the first half of it at least

Filmmaker Greenfield has a wonderful eye for the absurd, finding moments of offbeat humanity all the way through this involving documentary

[E]nds up an ever less slightly ungenerous look at the .01 percent than it might have been... But this is still a brutal film from many angles.

One of the great unsayable truths about the American dream is that it is a bit of a Ponzi scheme ... our system admits a glimmer of hope that anyone, no matter how lowborn, can rise to the top.

Extremely funny and revealing ...

[Siegel] is now suing Greenfield for "misrepresentation". Well, I know whose side I'm on.

She epitomises a Western culture struggling to wean itself off debt.

Greenfield's film is bathed in Florida sunshine, adding to the sensation that we're watching Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with a Marxist punchline.

Never has grotesque wealth looked so unenviable, or its removal been so entertaining, as in this garishly watchable riches-to-rags documentary ...

[Siegel] ultimately emerges as someone who belongs more in The Little House on the Prairie: ever cheerful, and triumphantly unimpeachable.

The temptation to be moralistic must have been overpowering, yet Greenfield finally manages to summon sympathy for people who at first seem vain, selfish and greedy.

Prepare to be shocked, disgusted and compelled.

In the end, these are human beings, not emblems - and it is this that makes this documentary one of the most watchable, for rich and poor alike.

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

It is a comedy that aspires to tragedy, and a metaphor for a nation collapsing beneath the incompatible, intolerable pressures of excess and inequity.

For all their garishness, the Siegels are pretty likable, even if attempts to make you sympathetic to their "plight" fall short.

It scores a lot of laughs at the Siegel's bad taste and odd ways of adapting to their newfound misfortune. Thankfully, Greenfield also makes the Siegels sympathetic.

If you get some kind of sick kick watching the mighty take a fall, The Queen of Versailles will be nothing short of a schadenfreudic ball.

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