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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 (1,097 customer reviews)

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The Painted Veil + A Good Woman + Girl with a Pearl Earring
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Product Details

  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber
  • Directors: John Curran
  • Format: 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 (1,097 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NOIX48
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,580 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Painted Veil" on IMDb

Special Features

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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
199 of 208 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painted with bright and dark colors. September 24, 2007
Format:DVD
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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301 of 320 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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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Mannered sitting room drama into the wilds of the human heart.
Virtually all stories begin with..."the stranger walked into town..." Yours, ours, theirs.... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Lonesome Dove
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Movie that you see over and over again. Outstanding actors, outstanding story. It is the success of talented people knowing how to put the right cast into the right role.
Published 7 days ago by AZ
4.0 out of 5 stars Different than book but still good
The movie is different than the book, of course... simpler, tidier... but I still liked it... was nice to have more of a love story... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Jamey Burho
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful woman, yet immoral character.
Kitty character lacks sense of decency as married woman, she commits adultery in her own home while her spouse is at work. She blames husband for her infidelity. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Rochester17
4.0 out of 5 stars The Painted Veil
I thought this was a very good movie on forgiveness as well as learning to love one another for their good qualities.
Published 10 days ago by Pat
5.0 out of 5 stars Love story
great views of China in 1925 great emotional drama, loved the acting. nice evening of relaxation and pop corn very fun
Published 16 days ago by grace harris
5.0 out of 5 stars The painted viel
The movie painted veil was so wonderful but the dvd would not play the end of the movie!Frustrating to say the least !!!!! Would not buy another dvd.
Published 17 days ago by leah Swanson
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic begets a classic.
The original is a wonderful story by an outstanding novelist
and the movie does great credit to the novel. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Lincsbairn
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a "Chick-Flick"
ot a bad movie, more "chick-flick" oriented than for guys. Acting is good, plot line not bad but not a keeper. Give it away
Published 21 days ago by T. Wilcoxson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie!
Love this movie and for a period-piece surprised my boyfriend liked it too...it held his attention, and he said it was actually entertaining to him
Published 22 days ago by Pougizma
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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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