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Portrait of Wally

Portrait of Wally (2012)

tomatometer

85

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

76

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 111

My Rating

Movie Info

Portrait of Wally, Egon Schiele's tender picture of his mistress, Walburga ("Wally") Neuzil, is the pride of the Leopold Museum in Vienna. But for 13 years the painting was locked up in New York, caught in a legal battle between the Austrian museum and the Jewish family from whom the Nazis seized the painting in 1939. Portrait of Wally traces the history of this iconic image - from Schiele's gesture of affection toward his young lover, to the theft of the painting from Lea Bondi, a Jewish art

Jan 13, 2014

Seventh Art Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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May 10, 2012:
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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (3)

An account of greed, betrayal, culpability and self-serving moral relativism.

May 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although the film at times moves through the evidence at an impossibly fast clip, the response of MoMa will doubtlessly resonate.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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It's a fascinating story, even as Shea's film sometimes tells it in a slightly convoluted way.

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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By showing how difficult and problematic righting a wrong can turn out to be, "Portrait of Wally" does itself proud.

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The material's not so rich and complex that the documentary doesn't feel padded at 90 minutes.

June 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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A painting's provenance matters, and so does this portrait of Portrait of Wally.

June 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story is compelling, and the fallout of the 13-year legal battle over Portrait of Wally not only established important legal precedence regarding art looted from Holocaust victims, but also caused some soul-searching in the museum world.

May 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Austin American-Statesman
Austin American-Statesman

The journey of the painting, and the Bondi family's efforts to reclaim it, are the meaty subject of Andrew Shea's engrossing documentary.

May 6, 2013 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

The film's troubling take on the moral flexibilities of the art world may also have viewers wondering about the provenance of what they see on museum walls.

May 6, 2013 Full Review Source: The Grid
The Grid

For such a winding, research-heavy piece, Portrait of Wally moves at a brisk clip, with Gary Lionelli's agitated score lending the film the breathless quality of a police procedural.

September 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Portrait of Wally reminds us that nearly 70 years after the war, some lessons of the Holocaust have yet to sink in.

July 2, 2012 Full Review Source: The Jewish Advocate
The Jewish Advocate

Wally sputters to an unremarkable conclusion.

June 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

...the journey of just one of many, many thousands of Nazi plundered art works and its rightful return to its owner.

June 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

...would make a great double bill with "The Art of the Steal," another documentary which exposes the ruthless greed and obsessions which power the world of public art exhibition.

June 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

A complex legal controversy is made enthralling and not infrequently shocking.

June 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Mark Leeper's Reviews
Mark Leeper's Reviews

Intricate documentary about stolen art is presented as if it were a thriller.

June 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

In chronicling the law case, the film also provides a fascinating profile of the lives of Schiele, Wally and Lea Bondi, and of Vienna's cultural ambiance pre-World War II.

May 29, 2012 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

Whatever might happen in future, however, the film underlines that the Wally case made this much very clear: rich people look out for themselves and bully others.

May 29, 2012 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

As Shea's film approaches its conclusion, a wonderful and unexpected sense of empathy suddenly materializes.

May 29, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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