In the 1920s, a young English couple--Walter, a middle class doctor and Kitty, an upper-class woman--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.


Based on Somerset Maugham's classic novel, The Painted Veil starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, is a graceful love story set in china in the 1920s.

Kitty, a spoilt, upper class, English girl, decides on a whim to marry Walter, a bacteriologist. After relocating to Shanghai, Walter discovers Kitty is conducting an affair. So in an act of vengeance he accepts a job in a remote Cholera ravaged village and takes Kitty along.

John Curran directs with great style and sensitivity. He elegantly captures the essence of the great writer's novel, employing just the right pace and rhythm. Credit also to Ron Nyswaner for his lyrical adaptation.

Sequences play out beautifully, leaving so much left unsaid. And he gives Maugham's story a distinct political backdrop that adds a sense of urgency and danger.

Edward Norton and Naomi Watts, who co-produced the film, are outstanding as the disillusioned young English couple. Norton brings a vulnerability to the uptight, distant Walter and Watts is mesmerising as Kitty. Her performance is restrained and quite remarkable

The Painted Veil is essentially a story of love and forgiveness told in a way reminiscent of the Hollywood of old. It unravels slowly and has a delicacy to it that I just adored.

The Painted Veil is a sensitive, beautiful film with exceptional performances - 4 stars. The Painted Veil is in cinemas now.