• PG-13, 2 hr. 4 min.
  • Drama, Romance
  • Directed By:
    John Curran
    In Theaters:
    Dec 20, 2006 Wide
    On DVD:
    May 8, 2007
  • Warner Independent Pictures

Opening

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58% Fading Gigolo Apr 18

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The Painted Veil Reviews

Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 5/5

May 13, 2009
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
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October 18, 2008

Time Out
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The production values are characteristically sumptuous, William Daniels' photography is lustrous, and Boleslawski directs with suitable flair.

Full Review Source: Time Out

April 20, 2007
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

February 9, 2007
David Fear
Time Out New York
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Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/6

February 3, 2007
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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The always surprising Watts creates a woman at once contemporary and retro. And Norton, as a producer as well as star, concedes enough space for Schreiber and the effortlessly fascinating Jones to earn their own spotlights.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

January 10, 2007
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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Sweeping vistas, period-piece sets, impeccable literary source, a little stolid at times, but ultimately quite impressive.

January 8, 2007
David Edelstein
New York Magazine
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The movie makes for a good old-fashioned wide-screen wallow.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine

January 6, 2007
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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Exquisitely filmed and finely acted.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

January 5, 2007

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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December 30, 2006
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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The acting is quite splendid, especially in the vicinity of the quite splendid Watts.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

December 30, 2006
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
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The Painted Veil recalls an earlier era of film direction, when movies moved rather than manipulated and craft superseded special effects.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

December 29, 2006
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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A thoughtful and beautifully mounted story for grown-ups, The Painted Veil brings the quiet pleasures of a fine novel, showing us that the world's complicated geography is no match for the terrain of the human heart.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 29, 2006
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The Painted Veil does what a romantic drama needs to do. It testifies to love as the great educator.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

December 29, 2006
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The Painted Veil is rich with history and heartbreak. It's stirring stuff.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

December 29, 2006
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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Its strength lies in its patience -- and its slow, melting sorrow that hints at atonement.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

December 29, 2006
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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The Painted Veil never really transcends a predictable, historical model of sacrifice and personal growth, and there's not enough of the latter.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 29, 2006
Tom Long
Detroit News
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The film manages to be a lush period piece, a love story, an examination of culture clash and a slow revelation of character emerging from stunted emotion.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: A

December 29, 2006
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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This version has that element the previous films lacked: a true understanding of Maugham's belief that true love and purpose are inseparable.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 4/4

December 29, 2006
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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The filmmakers are mindful of the challenges inherent in filming Maugham's novel. But The Painted Veil never fully finesses the novel's 1920s attitudes toward its ethnic others.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 29, 2006
Bill Zwecker
Chicago Sun-Times
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[Director] Curran has crafted a film that accomplishes so much. It not only draws us into this personal drama between his two principal actors, but also sets it all against a vibrant background of an ancient civilization struggling to become modern.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

December 29, 2006
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
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Norton and Schreiber seem too American to be English colonials, but Watts navigates a challenging transformation (in a role first played by Greta Garbo in 1934), and there are sturdy performances by Anthony Wong, Toby Jones, and Diana Rigg.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

December 29, 2006
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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Even amid an atmosphere of human rot, it's too elegant for its own good, a pleasing but pale Merchant-Ivory exercise that reverently strives for a kind of simple redemptive decency that Maugham found less triumphant than this movie does.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 29, 2006
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
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All this comes from a novel by Somerset Maugham, although the movie leaves out most of the complexities of the book to focus on the single-minded venom of the marriage.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 2.5/5

December 28, 2006
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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It's a grim, demanding movie, but the acting is marvelous and the scenery breathtaking. If you're looking for a film to match the post-holiday blues, here it is. And it's very good.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B+

December 28, 2006
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Stunning locations, a story with strong emotional, physical and spiritual conflicts, and a first-rate cast.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

December 28, 2006
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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The Painted Veil may begin too slowly, but it also ends too soon.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

December 22, 2006
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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The Painted Veil lifts Maugham's story clear of its prissy, attenuated spirituality, and into genuine passion.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

December 22, 2006
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
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The Painted Veil lifts Maugham's story clear of its prissy, attenuated spirituality, and into genuine passion.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 21, 2006
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Naomi Watts is far too good for most of her roles, sitting in an ape's paw or watching spectral videotapes. The Painted Veil is a welcome exception.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 20, 2006
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Despite a fierce lead performance by Naomi Watts, The Painted Veil is a quaintly bloodless, picture-postcard adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's 1925 China-set novel -- more Merchant Ivory than David Lean.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

December 20, 2006
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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In The Painted Veil, terrific actors give glum performances.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

December 20, 2006
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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Curran, his actors and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner have made an old-fashioned melodramatic epic that, as steeped as it is in the language and tradition of old movies, is never less than thrummingly alive.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 19, 2006
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Norton and Watts are top-notch, as are Schreiber and Toby Jones.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 19, 2006
David Germain
Associated Press
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A pet project of Watts and Norton for years, the two actors clearly have great affinity for the story and capture authentic chemistry of young marrieds at odds, who develop respect -- if not necessarily love -- for each other.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

December 19, 2006
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
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It's impeccable, but leaves you cold.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

December 19, 2006
John Anderson
Newsday
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It's really the Norton-Watts show, and they make The Painted Veil resonate with love and regret.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 19, 2006
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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The third film iteration of The Painted Veil turns W. Somerset Maugham's distaff bildungsroman into a fine romance.

| Original Score: 3.5/5

December 19, 2006
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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The movie achieves a rare balance for an historical fiction: making use of the backdrop without allowing it to overwhelm the characters and their story.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

December 18, 2006
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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The Painted Veil sets a few fine actors to work with one of W. Somerset Maugham's 1920s tales of Occidentals confronting the Far East and their own tangled emotional lives.

December 15, 2006
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The Painted Veil has the power and intimacy of a timeless love story. By all means, let it sweep you away.

| Original Score: 3/4

December 15, 2006
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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Intelligent scripting, solid thesping and eye-catching location shooting aren't enough to make a compelling modern film of The Painted Veil

Full Review Source: Variety

December 14, 2006
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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The Painted Veil tells a mesmerizing story while honoring all of the classic traditions of superior filmmaking -- a magnificent accomplishment that will haunt you long after it ends.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

December 13, 2006
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