sasha_feather: Simon Pegg from Hot Fuzz holding a gun looking tough (hot fuzz)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
The Queen of Versailles, documentary, streaming on Netflix.

As the film begins we see some filthy stinking rich people who are literally presented as royalty: the Seigels, time-share barons in Florida, who live in a mansion with their 8 kids. They are on top of the world and are building the country's largest house, a replica of the palace of Versailles. Jackie is almost 30 years younger than her husband David and appears to be a trophy wife, but she is presented with complexity and with some sympathy. David is not presented very sympathetically. About 30 minutes into the film, the 2008 recession happens and the family's business suffers. They can't complete the house; their Las Vegas venture is in trouble, and the family must cut back. (Even then, they say they are cutting back but they still live in their mansion, etc.)

There are many "OMG" moments in this film, like, you almost can't believe people can get so out of touch with reality. Neither of these people grew up rich but they've been corrupted by their money, so that it has almost become meaningless to them. The most stunning thing from my perspective is the way they treat their help; the maids and nannies are raising the kids, and sending money back to their own families, and living like paupers. Jackie is buying thousands of dollars worth of toys that her kids don't care about and the nanny is living in the kids' unused play house.

But Jackie is not a villain, and she's not stupid. It's more like she's living out a role that is expected of her, that of the wealthy trophy wife. She just doesn't look around and question it. For her, looks and things are the way she earns respect.

Anyway, it's a really thought provoking film.

Date: 2014-03-10 08:49 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Slings & Arrows' Anna sez: "I'll smack you so hard your cousin will fall down!" (Anna smacks hard)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
You are more generous to Jackie than I can be. This is someone who cannot be bothered to deal with her pets when they shit inside. For me that's a state so disconnected I can't imagine it.

I only hope that witnessing their parents'. Fall, as well as the loving attention the nann(ies) have provided, mean therer's a chance the kids will escape their parents' fantasy

The takeaway for me was how Western culture has literally reified monarchs in the past. Because I'm betting the dynastic rulers of Spain and France and England were not a whole lot more fun to be around.

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