A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis.
Welcome to Magic City, a legendary strip club where dreams are made, whether for the dancers seeking fame and fortune, the rappers using it as a platform to the big time, or the ballers ... See full summary »
In China, luxury is about more than owning private yachts, expensive houses and designer clothing-although there's plenty of that, too. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield... See full summary »
Beauty Culture investigates our obsession with beauty and the influence of photographic representations on female body image. Film subjects hail from diverse points on the beauty landscape.... See full summary »
Jamie Lee Curtis,
Lauren Greenfield's video "Fashion Show" mixes filmed footage with still photography from over 50 runway shows in New York, Milan and Paris. Cut to the pulsating beat of Fol Chen's latest ... See full summary »
In 2008, the Siegel family was top of the heap with the wealthy and politically influential David Siegel running the successful Westgate Resorts time-share business. To enjoy their good life, he and his engineer turned beauty queen trophy wife, Jackie, were building the largest single family private home in America. Suddenly, both the US economy and Westgate were rocked by the devastating sub-prime mortgage collapse. In the new economic reality with the business teetering on ruin, we follow the Siegels as they struggle to scale down their grotesquely ostentatious lifestyle. For this overprivileged family, accepting that situation proved a dispiriting struggle even as their unfinished dream home became a monument of their superficial values.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
After the release of this documentary, the family's oldest daughter Victoria became a victim of bullying about her chubby appearance and her family's lifestyle. This led to her developing an eating disorder (anorexia nervosa) and a depression. After a doctor's diagnosis in early 2013, she was prescribed anti-depressant medication. By mid-2013, she was using various legal and illegal drugs. Victoria died in 2015, at age 18, from an overdose of methadone and antidepressants. Through all her troubles, she kept a diary, whose location was revealed to her parents by a text message she sent to a friend before her death. In 2019, the diary was released in book form, titled "Victoria's Voice", in an effort to raise awareness about drug abuse. Furthermore, her parents started the Victoria Siegel Foundation, and David Siegel stepped away from his timeshare business to focus on the fight against the opioid epidemic. See more »
How are you personally responsible for the re-election of George Bush?
I'd rather not say because it may not necessarily have been legal.
See more »
The struggle of very rich people forced to live like sort of rich people
There is a famous, though fictional, exchange in which F. Scott Fitzgerald says "The rich are different from you and I" and Hemingway replies, "Yes, they have more money." That quote suits this film's central character, Jackie, whose tendency towards excess is magnified to an insane level by seemingly limitless wealth.
The movie is about how Jackie, her tycoon husband David and their children and employees deal with a crushing recession that forces them to struggle to live within their means.
Even though they are never broke, they genuinely do struggle because Jackie has satisfied too many whims, filling her house with pets and children and furniture and other things that require servants and lavish spending to keep going.
The movie could easily have caricatured Jackie, whose giant fake breasts and obsessive shopping are qualities that could make her seem white trash, but she comes across as a reasonably intelligent, generally nice person who simply has no concept of "enough." If she were poor she would probably be in debt because she collected memorial plates or something, but because she's rich she has collected everything.
David is less likable, a cold, brusque businessman with a sense of entitlement. As the movie begins he shows overwhelming confidence; it's easy to see how the sort of person who can build up a big business is the sort of person who never has insecure thoughts like, "did my wife marry me for my money." David claims in the movie to have personally made GW Bush president, but even though he expresses doubt about whether that was a good idea, because of the wars that resulted, after this movie came out he threatened his employees with job loss if Obama beat Romney, so I'd say he is as awful as he seems in the movie.
One of the best qualities of this movie is how non-judgmental it is. It shows its characters being both thoughtless and thoughtful and it gives them a chance to represent themselves to the camera; it's a movie that has no interest in being a hatchet job. At the same time, it juxtaposes their problems with those of one of their nanny's, whose situation is far sadder; it also has no interest in being a whitewash.
The even-handedness of this film means you are free to see the characters as you like. Some reviewers here reacted very differently from me, seeing David as a hard working businessman stuck with a white trash gold digger, or seeing them both as odious monsters. If you hate the rich, that will probably be your reaction, but if you *are* the rich, you would probably see this as a reasonable portrayal. In fact, if you're rich enough you probably wouldn't see anything wrong with the way they live. (Rich people are different than you and I; they think living like millionaires is normal.)
Overall this is a very engrossing and admirable film that made me feel some sympathy for people who, in the natural order of things, I would consider leeches on the belly of America.
44 of 45 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this