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The Painted Veil (2007)

Naomi Watts , Edward Norton , John Curran  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,123 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.96
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The Painted Veil + The Illusionist (Widescreen Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber
  • Directors: John Curran
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Surround Sound, Anamorphic, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,123 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NOIX48
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,197 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Painted Veil" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Based on the classic novel by W. Somerset Maugham, "The Painted Veil" is a love story set in the 1920s that tells the story of a young English couple, Walter, a middle class doctor and Kitty, an upper-class woman, who get married for the wrong reasons and relocate to Shanghai, where she falls in love with someone else. When he 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
206 of 215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painted with bright and dark colors. September 24, 2007
Don't let my 5 stars fool you into thinking that I think all will love this film; however, I did.

This film is not to everyone's taste, but I found it extraordinary. This kind of film typically attracts those who like films like The English Patient (which I hated) and The Horse Whisperer (which I loved). This is a period piece that doesn't need its period to be relevant. This is a location film that doesn't need its location to be believable. This is a slow-moving story that doesn't need action to be engrossing. This is a masterpiece that doesn't need improvement.

The story is both simple and multi-layered. Naomi Watts, totally unrecognizable from her The Ring and King Kong films, is basically a spoiled brat who would prefer to live off her father's money than to buy into the trappings of marriage (as she sees it). In a moment of spiteful rage against her mother, she intentionally marries a "civil servant" (one viewed beneath her), extremely well-played by Edward (American History X) Norton who equally disappears into his role as a shy man who is rather infatuated with Watts but respectful of the fact she doesn't love him, but hopes she will one day over time. This is a time when arranged marriages were common and for a husband to be as respectful as Norton's role is refreshing.
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303 of 324 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Painted Veil' Is Beautiful February 11, 2007
Co-produced and co-starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, W. Somerset Maugham's novel comes to life in living color. Beautiful cinematography and symphonic music embellish a wonderful, heart-warming story of love and forgiveness.

Kitty (Watts) is getting older. Living in 1920's London, her parents have more to say with impunity about her suitors. Quick to pursue her, Walter Fane (Norton) pushes himself for courtship against her wishes, but the timing leaves her no choice but wedlock. Interrupted in their social life, they become a foursome with Charlie Townsend (Liev Schreiber) and his wife. Charlie, a virile alternative to her drab, doctor husband, tempts her into adultery. In such an arrangement, women didn't have the freedoms they do now. So when Walter is assigned to treat a cholera epidemic in Shanghai, he's privy to her affair and can blackmail her to come along or face the scorn of divorce. Since her lover is a playboy who abhors attachment anyway, she again has no choice.

Life in China at first offers nothing more than disease and disenchantment. Bored with her life and keeping in seclusion to avoid cholera, her husband spreads nothing but flinty resentment toward her unfaithful presence. Besides a stunning landscape, she discovers a convent where a wise, old mother superior charms her heart and inspires her to do at first repellant work with the orphans. Besides the dangers of disease, the locals are slow to warm up to any foreigner's presence, even one that may offer a solution to their health crisis.

More moving than its beautiful cinematography, Norton's and Watt's splendid performances work well with a captivating story of lust and love, betrayal and forgiveness, and selfishness turned to self-giving.
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139 of 152 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serene brilliance February 5, 2007
Some stories portray life in many shades and make all the shades look equally remarkable, even though some shades are bright and some are truly gloomy. The Painted Veil is an outstanding example of such a versatlie story. The movie brilliantly narrates the lives of a couple who marry to pursue conflicting goals and end up uniting in every way. Ed Norton and Naomi Watts deliver one of the best performances of their lives and leave the audience spell bound in a movie that boasts of nothing dramatic and yet is a drama in the purest form. Set in England and China of 1920's, this movie depicts the love, the lack of it, and again the love between a couple whose pursuits were different but led them to one goal. To sum it, The Painted Veil is a sedate, sober and yet stunningly beautiful movie that will engage and enthrall you.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,--behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.

"The Painted Veil" is old school, not just because it is based on W. Somerset Maugham's 1925 novel, but also because this 2006 movie has sensibilities more akin to the Hollywood of the 1930s (when the movie was first filmed with Greta Garbo and Herbert Marshall), than of today. There was a story in the news this week about a controversial and racy billboard in Chicago that proclaimed "Life's short. Get a divorce." The billboard was taken down after a week, over the objections of the two divorce attorneys who put it up, but there is no denying that divorces have become a lot more popular since Maugham's day (the high water marked was 1980 in the U.S. when the divorce rate topped out at 41%). I bring this up because "The Painted Veil" is about two people who do not get divorced, and not because they are staying together for the sake of the children, because there are not any children. It is a love story, but one of the most unromantic ones that I have ever seen, which is, rather surprisingly, not a bad thing.

Kitty Garstin (Naomi Watts) is the daughter of an unambitious solicitor whose inflated idea of herself has seen her reject all possible suitors. But when her younger sister marries and her mother (Maggie Steed) asks pointedly how long she intends to live off of her father, the confluence of events compels her to accept the marriage proposal of Walter Fane (Edward Norton), a young bacteriologist who is heading off to China.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved Edward Norton and Naomi Watts together. GOOD story, interesting history, WELL DONE.
Published 1 day ago by P
1.0 out of 5 stars I loved the story line
I loved the story line! Reminds us to not give up on a good relationship! Real love! Beautiful setting! 4 1/2 stars!!!!
Published 4 days ago by Sharon eaves
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
It happened to be scratch.
Published 4 days ago by Edgar Lopez
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic movie
I love this movie. I've seen it many times over the years. It is touching, sad, and beautiful. It's a must see!
Published 15 days ago by Michelle Alphe
4.0 out of 5 stars makes me want to read the book!
I really enjoyed the movie. I watched it by myself since my boyfriend doesn't like "girly" movies. It however isn't a girly movie like I first thought. Read more
Published 25 days ago by reni
5.0 out of 5 stars What a beautful film this is!!!
Amazingly good, I think this movie has become a cult classic. The movie was just
awesome with the good doctor, taking his wife to a country where cholera has broken out! Read more
Published 26 days ago by Robert Pylant
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
I never tire of watching this movie. Watts and Norton are fabulous together and the cinematography is breath taking. Read more
Published 1 month ago by meb
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
One of my favorite movies. I buy very few DVDs but decided I needed this one as I never tire of watching it.
Published 1 month ago by jcvirgo
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good movie!
We gave this movie five stars because, well, it deserves it! My wife's co-workers recommended this movie to her, and we definitely enjoyed this one a lot. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jay Dollarhide
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like a saga, this is for you.
This story begins with a smile and then it sinks into total depression. A touch of infidelity starts the ball running downhill. Read more
Published 1 month ago by graphicfunk
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Topic From this Discussion
Garbo version
I read that too. Do you believe it??? How come I cannot find any information about this??? I have seen this before with Warner Bros. Remember when "The Letter" with Bette Davis was suppose to have the Jeanne Eagels version on it also?? And most recently I had read "The Prisoner of... Read More
Apr 14, 2007 by Scarlett O'Hara |  See all 3 posts
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