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The Painted Veil (2006)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 19 January 2007 (USA)
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0:31 | Trailer
A British medical doctor fights a cholera epidemic in a small Chinese village, while being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.

Director:

John Curran

Writers:

Ron Nyswaner (screenplay), W. Somerset Maugham (novel)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine An Catherine An ... Hostess
Bin Li Bin Li ... Te-Ming
Bin Wu Bin Wu ... Student 1
Alan David Alan David ... Mr. Garstin
Marie-Laure Descoureaux Marie-Laure Descoureaux ... Sister St. Joseph
Sally Hawkins ... Mary (scenes deleted)
Juliet Howland ... Dorothy Townsend
Toby Jones ... Waddington
Lorraine Laurence Lorraine Laurence ... Sister Maryse
Gwing-Gai Lee Gwing-Gai Lee ... Angry Chinese Man (as Johnny Lee)
Li Feng Li Feng ... Sung Ching
Gesang Meiduo Gesang Meiduo ... Amah
Edward Norton ... Walter Fane
Yin Qing Yin Qing ... Student 2
Ian Renwick Ian Renwick ... Geoffrey Denison (as Ian Rennick)
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Storyline

This love story has Kitty meeting young, intelligent, shy and somewhat dull Dr. Walter Fane, whose forte is the study of infectious diseases, and the convenient marriage that she finds herself committed to. It is in this web of intrigue that they head for China, only after Walter discovers Kitty's infidelity with one dashing and witty diplomat Charlie Townsend. So much as to hide her from herself and to help thwart a cholera outbreak, this is a marriage more than on the rocks. This is a cold, indifferent and loveless partnership in a vast unknown and deadly environment that will test both these flightless lovebirds and with the hardships and tolerances more than any had ever anticipated. A visual delight amid the pain and suffering of a dying people and failing marriage. Will a cure be found for both, before it's too late? Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Forgiveness comes at a price See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some mature sexual situations, partial nudity, disturbing images and brief drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

China | USA | Canada

Language:

English | Mandarin | French

Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Al otro lado del mundo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$51,086, 24 December 2006

Gross USA:

$8,060,487

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,522,838
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward Norton personally recruited Naomi Watts for her role in the film. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the orphans are asleep in the music room, Kitty can be seen holding one of the sleeping orphans. The orphan's head changes position between shots, her head is initially tilted towards Kitty, then tilting to the other side, and finally looking straight up. See more »

Quotes

Kitty Fane: By the way, you might be happy to know that I am just as useless to the nuns as I am to you.
Walter Fane: I shut off the town's only water supply today.
Kitty Fane: What will you do?
Walter Fane: I have no idea.
Kitty Fane: Hmm. Then I suppose we're both useless. At last, something in common.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Edward Norton Performances (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Reste Avec Moi
(French translation of "Abide with Me")
Words by Henry F. Lyte (as Henry Lyte) (in the English version, but translated here to French)
Music by William H. Monk (as William Monk)
Arranged by Evan H. Chen (as Evan Chen)
Performed by The Choir of the Beijing Takahashi Culture and Art Centre
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Are you ready for this?
12 February 2007 | by jpschapiraSee all my reviews

Interestingly, I got to this film not because of its two leads but because of its director. The man is John Curran, an independent director with a profound vision who is riding the right path and if he continues to do so, I dare to say he'll be among the big names soon. That's, of course, if he decides to work more constantly. He's done three full-length features that have garnered awards and recognition.

I've seen two of them; "We don't live here anymore" and now "The Painted Veil", the life of a couple in the 1920's, where a man came to a woman after knowing her for a day and said: "I came here to ask you to marry me". This is what Dr. Walter Fane (Edward Norton) proposes to Kitty (Naomi Watts); and she agrees, of course because it's a chance to get as far away from her parents as possible. Fane is a microbiologist or something like it, however she doesn't care. He takes her to Shanghai, where she meets Charlie Townsend (Liev Schreiber).

Something awful and predictable happens. It hurts a character and the viewer and it lets Curran to deal with a theme he knows well; adultery. Anyway, this is just the beginning of a silent suffering and of a silent life with limited conversations. But strong conversations, coming from Ron Nyswaner's intelligent script, based on W. Somerset Maugham's novel. Overlooked by the Academy, Nyswaner's work allows the characters to expose their feelings mercilessly; which is exactly the way John Curran makes films.

In "We don't live here anymore" the images were violent. "Do you absolutely despise me?", Kitty asks Walter. "No, I despise myself for allowing myself to love you once", he answers. In scenes like this one, Curran's close-ups are daring; but he's also able to measure his shots to give us some beautiful landscapes. Going back to Nyswaner, he achieves the turn of the story perfectly, providing us a big gallery of characters (Toby Jones as an unpredictable neighbor, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang as a harsh Chinese colonel, Diana Rigg as a caring nun) as he deals with strong issues like terminal diseases and social differences.

Sometimes recognized as the most intelligent man in the industry, a versatile and underrated actor, Norton produced the movie (in which he's absolutely brilliant, with the English accent included) and made sure Naomi Watts was in it…Every time she appears on screen in a film she looks different; although we know it's her. Her range is more surprising by the day. Not so long ago, Watts said in an interview that she was tired of dramatic roles where she had to cry all the time; she wanted to get a big paycheck in "some stupid romantic comedy". Even so, she produced Curran's previous movie (where she was also great) and co-produced this one: she must care a little bit.

Ultimately, with all the things it covers, "The Painted Veil" is a beautiful story about love found, as in discovered; a story about regret and the purest forgiveness. I also want to comment that after watching two of his pieces, Curran has something going on with streets in last scenes.


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