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All Critics (31)
| Top Critics (13)
| Fresh (28)
| Rotten (3)
An account of greed, betrayal, culpability and self-serving moral relativism.
Although the film at times moves through the evidence at an impossibly fast clip, the response of MoMa will doubtlessly resonate.
It's a fascinating story, even as Shea's film sometimes tells it in a slightly convoluted way.
By showing how difficult and problematic righting a wrong can turn out to be, "Portrait of Wally" does itself proud.
The material's not so rich and complex that the documentary doesn't feel padded at 90 minutes.
A painting's provenance matters, and so does this portrait of Portrait of Wally.
The case was finally resolved in 2010, as this fascinating documentary details. Don't expect an even-handed account of the case, though.
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.
The journey of the painting, and the Bondi family's efforts to reclaim it, are the meaty subject of Andrew Shea's engrossing documentary.
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.
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.
Portrait of Wally reminds us that nearly 70 years after the war, some lessons of the Holocaust have yet to sink in.
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