The Painted Veil (2006)

The Painted Veil
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Moderate themes and sexual references

Director: John Curran
Actors: Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber

Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people. Based on the novel by W Somerset Maugham, The painted veil is a love story set in the 1920s about a young English couple, Walter (Edward Norton), a middle class doctor and Kitty (Naomi Watts), an upper-class woman, who marry for the wrong reasons and relocate to Shanghai, where Kitty falls in love with someone else. When Walter uncovers her infidelity, in an act of vengeance he accepts a job in a remote village in China ravaged by a deadly epidemic, and takes her along. Their journey brings meaning to their relationship and gives them purpose in one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth.

Status: LongWait
Run time: 123mins
Origin: CHINA
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Member Reviews (82)

Edward Norton.....I need say no more :)
Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2014 See my other reviews
Ron Dundas
Enjoyable. Its the sort of story of sacrifice, loyalty, service to humanity and stiff upper lip that we were once brought up on. Good to touch base. As good as its cover which summed it up.
Posted Monday, 24 March 2014 See my other reviews
realized I had seen it and didnt care for it so didnt' even give it a go again.Well acted though I seem to recall.
Posted Monday, 24 March 2014 See my other reviews
Loved it.
Posted Friday, 24 January 2014 See my other reviews
Slow and predictable - couldn't make it to the long drawn out end
Posted Friday, 6 December 2013 See my other reviews
Quite an epic adventure. Great story, acting, production and scenery. But it did get a little bogged down. Glad I saw it though.
Posted Thursday, 5 December 2013 See my other reviews
Posted Saturday, 12 October 2013 See my other reviews
I thought it was beautiful. Realistic character development. Good story. Beautiful cinematography. I will recommend to others and will watch again some day
Posted Tuesday, 30 July 2013 See my other reviews
Beautiful cinematography. A well acted 1920's story with a message for all of us on how to find love. A little drawn out in parts.
Posted Wednesday, 26 June 2013 See my other reviews
Iteresting portrayal of how life was in the 1920's. The interactions of the main characters was quite fascinating, and the author found a reasonable solution for this strained and difficult circumstance. Love Ed Norton, and I also loved Naomi.
Posted Thursday, 2 May 2013 See my other reviews
the movie dragged on and on and on.
Posted Friday, 12 April 2013 See my other reviews
brilliant , complex & challenging story line, fantastic cinematography...everything I look for in a movie
Posted Wednesday, 12 December 2012 See my other reviews
A bit of a tragic really. Worth a look!
Posted Thursday, 15 November 2012 See my other reviews
Beautiful.I want to read the book now. The locations were fantastic too!
Posted Thursday, 13 September 2012 See my other reviews
Mike Brindley
'Old-fashioned' but emotionally strong redemption & reconciliation pic set in 1920s rural China. Excellent performances from Edward Norton and the always wonderful Naomi Watts.
Posted Wednesday, 12 September 2012 See my other reviews
Great movie.
Posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012 See my other reviews
Great story, great acting, beautiful cinematography
Posted Friday, 13 April 2012 See my other reviews
Wonderful. I would sincerely recommend this movie to anyone.
Posted Thursday, 8 March 2012 See my other reviews
Deb R
Good movie although a bit slow in parts and dragged on a little.
Posted Sunday, 26 February 2012 See my other reviews
Previous comments have described this film well. Great locations, great acting, well filmed etc. It was a bit slow in parts but I didnt get bored. It showed how times have changed.
Posted Monday, 13 February 2012 See my other reviews
A bit disappointed with this movie, quite slow at times.
Posted Wednesday, 8 February 2012 See my other reviews
A much better movie than I expected. Great acting, moving story and insight into a different time and place.
Posted Tuesday, 17 January 2012 See my other reviews
There's a lot to enjoy about this movie. The cinematography is superb, the storyline is crafted in such a way that you're compelled to keep watching even though the pace is not quick, and the casting is perfect, particularly Naomi Watts.
Posted Thursday, 24 November 2011 See my other reviews
Posted Thursday, 27 October 2011 See my other reviews
I really enjoyed the movie.
Posted Saturday, 15 October 2011 See my other reviews
Well worth a watch, great cast and beautifully directed
Posted Tuesday, 11 October 2011 See my other reviews
A good little film-great locations, a pretty good cast, based on a fabulous somerset Maugham novel worth a look
Posted Sunday, 11 September 2011 See my other reviews
The Painted Veil is a beautifully filmed piece of cinema. The story is slow at times however the shots of scenery fill the void. The Painted Veil has a compelling and unique story. I highly recommend to someone who is patient, likes nature, and enjoys a story following the complex relationship between two people.
Posted Wednesday, 17 August 2011 See my other reviews
Sad but subtle with beautiful locations
Posted Saturday, 7 May 2011 See my other reviews
a very enjoyable viewing. Good character development.
Posted Tuesday, 19 April 2011 See my other reviews
The Cinematography and difficult “in-your-face” social issues of the era are what grasped my interest for throughout the film. The story is successful in demonstrating the space that can occur between two people, even lovers; however suffers from a drawn out and predictable plot. I found myself thinking “how much longer is there to go?”
Posted Wednesday, 2 February 2011 See my other reviews
After watching another movie children of the silk road thought this must be a copycat movie. Ed Norton was good enough to carry this movie and I enjoyed it.
Posted Friday, 28 January 2011 See my other reviews
An interesting cinema moment... well done...
Posted Wednesday, 24 November 2010 See my other reviews
Deb H
Very interesting movie with a great cast
Posted Tuesday, 23 November 2010 See my other reviews
What a beautiful story about a woman who learnt how to love....
Posted Sunday, 7 November 2010 See my other reviews
Basically a moving and poignant love story that is set in the 1920's in England and Shanghai In China and based on a great novel by Somerset Maugham. Filmically beautiful to watch. Parts of country China are truly beautiful. I enjoyed it and it held me to the end. Overall a well crafted film. Recommended viewing.
Posted Thursday, 29 July 2010 See my other reviews
Karen B.
Edward Norton proves once again what a versatile performer he is. Totally believable as the smitten restrained Englishman who sets out to extract revenge on his wife for her infidelity. He and Naomi Watts bring life this tale by Somerset Maugham, running the gamut from unrequited love to disgust to comfortable intimacy. The scenery in rural China is breathtaking. Loved it!
Posted Tuesday, 27 July 2010 See my other reviews
A very interesting storyline, from the time in history to the journey of one couples journey from convenience, to hate to love and heartbreak, very well played out. The ending was brilliant, it's always good when someone can come into their own and not be dependent or manipulated. The acting was superb, the scenes were beautifully shot. One that I could watch a few times.
Posted Monday, 28 June 2010 See my other reviews
Enjoyed this very much - Naomi Watts plays it well
Posted Wednesday, 9 June 2010 See my other reviews
Good part played by Naomi Watts in particular. Some v good scenes of China with the impending Chinese revolution sitting menacingly in the background.
Posted Monday, 10 May 2010 See my other reviews
A thoughtful, interesting and beautifully shot period piece set in China. No doubt some of Naomi Watts' best work and Ed Norton is awlays strong (except in Hulk, when he was just CGI strong). The story itself of the battle against cholera is interesting enough, and then the relationship drama on top is very well done. It's never melodramatic and easily one of the better romance-dramas going around. Well worth watching.
Posted Thursday, 29 April 2010 See my other reviews
Loved this movie!
Posted Monday, 5 April 2010 See my other reviews
Great Movie. Great Storyline, a bit slow in some places but a shame about the ending.. I would have liked to have seen a happy ending..
Posted Sunday, 4 April 2010 See my other reviews
This was like taking a holiday to China, only 60 years ago. Essentially a love story but very easy to watch. My wife loved it.
Posted Wednesday, 24 March 2010 See my other reviews
We really enjoyed this film, and it was one of those films that you thought about and spoke about for days to come. A great film for seeing how relationships can grow (and crumble) through the good times and the bad. Worth a look!
Posted Monday, 22 March 2010 See my other reviews
Carol R.
best performance from both the leads, loved the story recommend it
Posted Friday, 19 March 2010 See my other reviews
Very good, great story....
Posted Monday, 8 March 2010 See my other reviews
SO Somerset Maughm. Really enjoyed it.
Posted Wednesday, 20 January 2010 See my other reviews
Failed to live up to expectations. Quite turgid and slow in parts.
Posted Wednesday, 30 December 2009 See my other reviews
Meegan A.
A beautiful story. Really well filmed. One that will make you think... and cry.
Posted Monday, 23 November 2009 See my other reviews
Gerald R.
A slow and often treaded path at the beginning but well worth the wait as the story develops. Edward Norton, in an eerily similar manner to his primal fear role, he wins his audience and his 'wife' over but perhaps it's too late. Well worth the watch and an interesting tale to boot. As Molly would say, "do yourself a favour." 3 and ahalf stars
Posted Thursday, 29 October 2009 See my other reviews
I loved this movie. The characters were great and well acted. The story was excellent, i couldn't stop watching till I knew what happened!
Posted Tuesday, 22 September 2009 See my other reviews
Wendy T.
Wonderful movie, really enjoyed it.l
Posted Wednesday, 2 September 2009 See my other reviews
Anne D.
found the movie a bit too long but not long enough that I turned it off in disgust = got close though. The scenery was great and it was a little predictable - especially the end.
Posted Friday, 14 August 2009 See my other reviews
OK but not remarkable...too slow to really engage with the characters.
Posted Thursday, 6 August 2009 See my other reviews
Lynne G.
beautiful scenery , well acted, bleak cholera epidemic, interesting historically, very slow
Posted Tuesday, 4 August 2009 See my other reviews
Garrick J.
Anything Edward Norton has been in of late has been a "must see" for me. This actor has it all in my books, focussed and talented acting skills, casual good looks and ability to undertake an inner journey that translates through the lens. I thought that the cinematography was stunning, the visual impact mirrored that of the unfolding of the story and the development of the characters.... such an achievement.
Posted Wednesday, 29 July 2009 See my other reviews
emotional and touching. very well made
Posted Tuesday, 7 July 2009 See my other reviews
I enjoyed this movie. Unfortunately, the quality of the DVD wasn't great so it kept stopping which was frustrating.
Posted Monday, 6 July 2009 See my other reviews
A refreshing change of pace from the usual fluff coming out of Hollywood. It is beautifully shot, and written and performed so that there is just as much information to gleam from the silence moments as there is in the dialogue. Not the predictable syrupy tripe I have come to expect from an American production. 4.5 stars!
Posted Friday, 19 June 2009 See my other reviews
sad, slow story- but interesting and beautiful watch
Posted Sunday, 17 May 2009 See my other reviews
Eng O.
Terribly long and boring. Characters were not interesting.
Posted Tuesday, 12 May 2009 See my other reviews
Amour S.
Well directed and acted out by everyone concerned. It was interesting to see the remoteness of China. And the simple act of burying people upstream or downstream makes all the difference in the passing on of sickness! Yes, it may have been slow but I enjoyed it, and the interaction of the actors. Watch this if you are a fan of Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Diana Rigg. I don't know why she is not mentioned in the actors list. Worth a watch on a rainy day!
Posted Saturday, 9 May 2009 See my other reviews
Beautifully filmed. Sensitive acting. This movie draws you in slowly and hooks you emotionally. One of the most memorable movies I've seen. I'd definitely put it in my top ten. Can't say anymore because I'll give away the ending.
Posted Saturday, 28 March 2009 See my other reviews
James B.
This was great movie. Not what i expected at all and a pleasure to watch.
Posted Tuesday, 3 March 2009 See my other reviews
Vita T.
One of the best romantic movie I have seen in long time. Excellent cinematography, fabulous score, great screenplay
Posted Tuesday, 17 February 2009 See my other reviews
Gerd H.
An involved story, yet it is oddly predictable - apart from the end, which is apparently very different from the W Somerset Maugham novel on which the film is based. Still, it keeps the viewer interested and the Chinese scenery is remarkable. Just not as good a movie as it might have and should have been.
Posted Monday, 9 February 2009 See my other reviews
Good movie and some fine acting - although one can sympathise with the Chinese and their animosity towards the British. Somerset Maugham specialised in the effect of the tropics on the British passions and this movie avoids the melodrama of the original story. A classic tragedy of opportunities and love lost.
Posted Thursday, 15 January 2009 See my other reviews
Absolutely amazing. It kept me interested throughout. Notice too, that from all the reviews, all are glowing bar one. I would definately reccommend this to any adult, male or female. 5 stars.
Posted Tuesday, 13 January 2009 See my other reviews
Olivia Z.
"The Painted Veil" is a story of gruesome revenge exacted with bloodcurdling politeness. But there is also growth and redemption, incredible scenery and beautiful piano solos. A mild-mannered English bacteriologist drags his frivolous young wife to a remote Chinese village in the middle of a cholera epidemic as payback for her affair with another man. Life takes unexpected turns and what initially seems like an act of vengeance becomes the making of the central characters. Very real and human.
Posted Sunday, 11 January 2009 See my other reviews
This was a beautiful movie, audience captivated story, scenery breathtaking, the story very indepth and I found captivating.
Posted Tuesday, 30 December 2008 See my other reviews
Janet W.
An interesting storyline and fine performances from Norton and Watts. Also good English accents from both seeing neither are English.
Posted Monday, 22 December 2008 See my other reviews
Sean D.
This movie really highlights the extraordinary talents of Watts and Norton who share an amazing on screen chemistry. Quite a believable storyline with an unhollywood like ending.
Posted Thursday, 11 December 2008 See my other reviews
Jane F.
Heartbreaking story, beautiful cinematography and awesome acting. Definitely not a fast paced movie but it doesn't need to be because it is dealing with themes that are soft and pervasive. There's no slamming the audience with messages or explanations. It's an agonising stroll through difficult questions that leaves the viewer with a quiet peace at the end.
Posted Saturday, 6 December 2008 See my other reviews
wonderful acting from Ed and Naomi.
Posted Wednesday, 19 November 2008 See my other reviews
Anita S.
It is the 1920s and Kitty is pressured by her family to marry Walter, a man she doesn't love. They move to Shanghai and embark on the high life of the expat. The story progresses from there in the midst of beautiful Chinese scenery and the inevitable poverty, disease and political turmoil. Haunting music, great acting and dramatic settings make this an immensely satisfying film.
Posted Tuesday, 18 November 2008 See my other reviews
Jennifer C.
I really liked this movie, beautifully filmed with wonderful acting. I also loved the music, it stays with you especially the unusual Satie piano piece.
Posted Tuesday, 11 November 2008 See my other reviews
Tiffani H.
very touching film about two people purging their demons in the context of a cholera epidemic. One complaint: the first half hour was dedicated to how they met, married, and ended up in the mist of the epidemic. This could've been slowed down a bit in order to really flesh out the characters and truly understand their motives in a way that was less superficial than it turned out to be. Yes, we got it, but a deeper understanding of their personalities would've given us the opportunity to sympathise a bit more with both of them earlier on. I haven't read the book, so if the book is written in the same way, then the movie can't be faulted.
Posted Tuesday, 4 November 2008 See my other reviews
Okto F.
I like it...
Posted Friday, 17 October 2008 See my other reviews
Sunet N.
It was painful really. 160mn so long and sooo slow. A long movie where it's not happening much. I had no feeling for the characters and therefore didn't care what it could happen to them. For a love story it is a big disappointment. With such a cast you could expect better.Despite of the length of the film, I had the impression that it's been cut short as if they had spent too much money or had no film tape left. Don't waste your time!
Posted Tuesday, 14 October 2008 See my other reviews
John N.
In the 20s daughters of well-to-do families very often remained at home until they were married. Kitty is in that situation when Doctor Walter Fane, a bacteriologist, asks her to marry him. She isn't in love with him, but her mother makes it clear that her father cannot keep on supporting her, so she accepts. Walter takes up a research job in China without as much as consulting Kitty, which makes her very angry. They arrive in Shanghai and she soon finds the close English community unwelcoming, so that when the suave British vice-consul, Charlie Townsend, makes a pass at her at a formal party, she falls for him and they become lovers. Unfortunately they are not particularly discreet and Walter gets to know about it, and in a fury, volunteers to work far away in the countryside where there is a cholera epidemic. He tells her that if she doesn't go with him, he'll divorce her for adultery. As Charlie has no intention of leaving his wife, she has little choice but to go with him. In the small town of Mei-tan-fu, where the cholera epidemic is decimating the population, her husband works in the infirmary all day while she is confined to the house. Her only neighbours are Waddington, the deputy commissioner, amazed that her husband could bring her to such a place of death, and the mother superior in charge of the orphanage. Naomi Watts gives a powerful performance as the rather shallow Kitty, as does Edward Norton as the unforgiving husband. The plot adapted from the Somerset Maughan novel is wholly credible for that day and age. The author's precise and lethal dialogue is faithfully reproduced which makes the battle of wills so absorbing as the two people go to their own private hell and back. Diana Rigg, as the Mother Superior, brings a formidable presence to her character. The cinematography of the beautiful Chinese countryside is breathtaking.
Posted Saturday, 11 October 2008 See my other reviews
Wendy H.
Beautiful and understated period drama set in China in the 1920s during an outbreak of cholera. This film truly should be called Love in the Time of Cholera, unlike the somewhat disappointing novel that actually bears the title. An imperfect marriage portrayed perfectly by the always immaculate Edward Norton and the equally enchanting Naomi Watts, in one of her best performances to date.
Posted Saturday, 6 September 2008 See my other reviews
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