The Painted Veil 2006 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(1,212) IMDb 7.5/10
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A love story set in the 1920s of a young English couple, Walter and Kitty, who get married for the wrong reasons and relocate to Shanghai, where she falls in love with someone else.

Catherine An, Bin Li
2 hours, 5 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

The Painted Veil

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director John Curran
Starring Catherine An, Bin Li
Supporting actors Bin Wu, Alan David, Marie-Laure Descoureaux, Sally Hawkins, Juliet Howland, Toby Jones, Lorraine Laurence, Gwing-Gai Lee, Li Feng, Gesang Meiduo, Edward Norton, Yin Qing, Ian Renwick, Diana Rigg, Liev Schreiber, Cheng Shihan, Liang Sijie, Maggie Steed
Studio Warner Independent Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Very enjoyable movie with great acting and a good story.
Judy Coghhill
In this story, however, the veil is indeed lifted as a man and a woman discover true life and true love by giving their lives for others.
elena maria vidal
I just love movies that surprise me even though i didnt want this ending.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

226 of 235 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hedge on 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.
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311 of 332 people found the following review helpful By "Rocky Raccoon" VINE VOICE on 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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146 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Anupam Satyasheel on 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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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 10, 2007
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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