"As detailed in Andrew Shea's fascinating documentary "Portrait of Wally,"Egon Schiele 's haunting 1912 painting of his mistress and favorite model Wally Neuzil had a complicated, extremely dramatic history as well as a legal and cultural significance that can't be overestimated... By showing how difficult and problematic righting a wrong can turn out to be, "Portrait of Wally" does itself proud."
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Works like a suspense drama! A painting's provenance matters, and so does this portrait of 'Portrait of Wally.'"
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"A cinematic masterwork about a painted masterpiece."
- E. Nina Rothe, Huffington Post
“[Portrait of Wally] does justice to that other famed account of postwar Viennese murk and intrigue, Carol Reed’s 1949 film noir The Third Man”
- Geoff Pevere, Toronto Globe and Mail
"Engrossing...Anything can be acquired, no matter how personal or precious. That’s the whole point of the film.”
- Norman Wilner, Toronto Now Magazine
“An inherently tense film that tells its story in reasoned but sympathetic fashion, Portrait of Wally’s most electrifying scene comes almost at its end. To say more would spoil it, but these precious few moments are all it takes to understand and appreciate the war Lea Bondi’s family and their allies fought in her name.”
- Robert Sims, Palm Beach Daily News
“Portrait of Wally’s tumultuous history makes for a gripping tale…"
- Jason Anderson, Toronto Star
“Director Andrew Shea has assembled a taut, expertly-made documentary… Portrait of Wally is probably one of the best docs that will slip under the radar this year.”
- Dan Schindel, Off to See the Elephant
"A surprisingly engaging account of a landmark case that shook up the art world."
- Devin Fuller, indieWire
"Portrait Of Wally tells a gripping story."
- Sam Adams, Onion's AV Club
"An engrossing, exhaustively detailed account of how Portrait of Wally changed hands over the decades… Makes a fairly devastating case, via archival evidence, interviews with many of the key players, and an expansive scope that includes restitution laws, whitewashed national histories, and the questionable ethics of art institutions."
- Kimberly Jones, Austin Chronicle
"‘Portrait of Wally’, more than the story of a painting and its travails, depicts essential contradictions in the conduct of human affairs and flaws in the human soul. Perhaps, then, Schiele’s intentions have been realized."
– Alex Joffe, Jewish Ideas Daily
"Andrew Shea has deftly painted the surprisingly political saga of an artwork wrenched from a Jewish gallerist by the Nazis… Hugely insightful…"
- Lavanya Ramanathan, Washington Post
"Portrait of Wally packs an emotional wallop, not so much in excoriating the Nazis for originally looting the painting, but in clearly exposing why it took so long to rectify this wrong. The film becomes as suspenseful and charged as the painting itself — a work of great sexual energy and electricity that became a talisman openly coveted by many powerful players."
– Jon Bowman, Santa Fe New Mexican
"Fascinating and frighteningly revelatory."
- David Noh, Film Journal International
"A fascinating story… You leave the film haunted by the blurry black-and-white footage of a peaceful, stylish prewar Vienna; and by the words, used by one of the film's narrators, speaking of works looted by Nazis and never returned to their owners: 'They had an interest,' he says of the art world, 'in closing their eyes.'"
-- Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
"A must see for anyone who cares about modern art. Although the main story deals with art looted by the Nazis, the modern developments provide an astonishing thriller of a tale…Your mouth will hang open at the twists and turns in the history of this dear little painting."
– Greer Nicholson, Cinetalk
"Andrew Shea’s recent film “Portrait of Wally” turns those facts into a passionately argued, ethical detective story... [It] unfolds at a perfect pace and with compassion for the Bondi family in the face of art-establishment skulduggery and paranoia."
- Iain Millar, The Art Newspaper
"A serpentine thriller"
- Graham Fuller, ARTINFO
"An energetic retelling of a tale well worth hearing!"
- George Robinson, Jewish Week
"Portrait of Wally, a testament to art's baffling ability to somehow encapsulate everything and nothing of life at once, deserves to be one of the docs that breaks into the American pop consciousness this year."
- Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine
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Portrait of Wally
ARCAblog: Listen to 'Art Crime with Arthur Tompkins: Portrait of Wally' on Radio New Zealand 9 weeks 4 days ago.