Portrait of Wally

2012

Portrait of Wally (2012)

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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 dealer fleeing Vienna for her life, to the post-war confusion and subterfuge that evoke The Third Man, to the surprise resurfacing of "Wally" on loan to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan in 1997. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Portrait of Wally

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (13)

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

May 6, 2013 | Full Review…

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

Aug 3, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It's a fascinating story, even as Shea's film sometimes tells it in a slightly convoluted way.

Jul 19, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

By showing how difficult and problematic righting a wrong can turn out to be, "Portrait of Wally" does itself proud.

Jul 19, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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

Jun 28, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A painting's provenance matters, and so does this portrait of Portrait of Wally.

Jun 20, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4

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