Portrait of Wally Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: "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. (7th Art Releasing) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 30, 2012
    88
    The documentary carrying the same name as Schiele's painting works like a suspense drama and a slippery chronicle of ownership, theft and vaguely unsettling resolution.
  2. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    May 8, 2012
    88
    The conclusion is a testament to the fact that authentic justice is probably only attainable by accident.
  3. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 6, 2012
    78
    With a saga this sprawling and byzantine, it makes sense that the emphasis is not on Schiele, but rather on what the sorely wronged Bondi never stopped calling "my Schiele."
  4. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    May 8, 2012
    70
    Turning over rocks in and around the New York art world, helmer Andrew Shea finds a lot of ugly stuff while chronicling what amounts to a 60-year hostage drama centered around the Egon Schiele oil painting that gives the film its title.
  5. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    May 8, 2012
    70
    Shea's documentary is a well-arranged if rather drawn-out parade of talking heads telling Wally's story, including a trenchant and funny Morley Safer, never missing a chance to knock the art world.
  6. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    May 8, 2012
    70
    Portrait of Wally may be too narrowly focused for some viewers, but offers an engaging narrative and high-profile subject that should attract audiences at fests and in specialized theatrical bookings.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Jun 28, 2012
    50
    What's most vexing about Portrait of Wally is its lack of nuance.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of