As a portrait of someone who laboured away without ever quite finding the recognition they deserved in their lifetime - a woman so independent of everybody else she even resisted the feminist movement's attempts to carry her aloft on her shoulders - the film is strongest evoking the artist's isolation, the feeling that, as painter Chuck Close puts it, "you're broadcasting, but no-one's picking up the signal". Could it be that the despair visible in Neel's subjects' eyes was a reflection upon the artist herself? I'm less certain how much credence to give to her offspring's handwringing, and how much it's just a useful hook upon which to sell a documentary these days; compared to, say, the kids in "Capturing the Friedmans" or Jonathan Caouette in "Tarnation", the Neels seem to have done OK for themselves, having developed in absentia parentis a streak of self-preservation that's served them well in their professional lives. There's a revealing contrast between Alice, who refused to seek a divorce on the grounds it was "bourgeois", and her sons, who - while burdened with a certain weight of neurotic baggage - went on to become doctors, lawyers and good company men. Inadvertently, the film raises the question of how one might rebel against a parent so far outside the norms of mainstream society, then answers it with aplomb: they put on a suit, make a fair bit of money for themselves, and spend the occasional off night wondering why mommy never painted them a rose garden.