The Painted Veil (2006)



Critic Consensus: Visually, The Painted Veil has all the trappings of a stuffy period drama, but Norton's and Watts's deft portrayals of imperfect, complicated characters give the film a modern-day spark.

The Painted Veil Videos

The Painted Veil Photos

Movie Info

Set in the 1920s, this love story is about a young English couple (a doctor and a society girl) who marry hastily. They relocate to Hong Kong where they betray each other easily, but then they find an unexpected chance at redemption and happiness while on a deadly journey into the heart of ancient China.
PG-13 (for some mature sexual situations, partial nudity, disturbing images and brief drug content)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Box Office:

Watch it now


Naomi Watts
as Kitty Fane
Edward Norton
as Walter Fane
Liev Schreiber
as Charlie Townsend
Diana Rigg
as Mother Superior
Toby Jones
as Waddington
Catherine An
as Hostess
Juliet Howland
as Dorothy Townsend
Anthony Wong
as Colonel Yu
Maggie Steed
as Mrs. Garstin
Lorraine Laurence
as Sister Maryse
Marie-Laure Descoureaux
as Sister St. Joseph
Johnny Lee
as Angry Chinese Man
Li Feng
as Sung Ching
Alan David
as Mr. Garstin
Lucy Voller
as Doris Garstin
Feng Ligang
as Sung Ching
Ian Rennick
as Geoffrey Denison
Wu Bin
as Student 1, Student No. 1
Yin Qing
as Student 2
Cheng Shihan
as Warlord Kwei
Liang Sijie
as Student No. 3
Zoe Telford
as Leona
Liang Sigie
as Student 3
Henry Sylow
as Walter Junior
Lu Yan
as Wan Xi
Xia Yu
as Wu Lien
Ma Yun
as Student 4
Lin Zheng
as Chinese Opera Star
Yao Tian Hua
as Singing Orphan
Wu Di
as Singing Orphan
Liu Yue Qi
as Singing Orphan
Li Zhuo Er
as Singing Orphan
Hu Jia Yi
as Singing Orphan
Guo Yu Tong
as Singing Orphan
Zhao Wei Xin
as Singing Orphan
Chen Xiangqi
as Singing Orphan
Shi Tong Xuan
as Singing Orphan
Tang Yu Xin
as Singing Orphan
Cheng Yu Yang
as Singing Orphan
Guo Jia Hui
as Singing Orphan
Huang Yi Yuan
as Singing Orphan
Xu Shu Hao
as Singing Orphan
Fei Yue
as Singing Orphan
Meng Ting Yu
as Singing Orphan
Cheng Zhu Yue
as Singing Orphan
Gao Qiao Jia Li
as Singing Orphan
Ming Fang
as Singing Orphan
Tan Ya Zuo
as Singing Orphan
John Cann
as Businessman in Colony Club
Maurice Herschtal
as Businessman in Colony Club
Bill Marcus
as Businessman in Colony Club
Shobauro Hiratsuka
as Businessman in Colony Club
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Painted Veil

Critic Reviews for The Painted Veil

All Critics (144) | Top Critics (42)

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

Full Review… | April 20, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

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… | January 10, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Sweeping vistas, period-piece sets, impeccable literary source, a little stolid at times, but ultimately quite impressive.

January 8, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

The movie makes for a good old-fashioned wide-screen wallow.

January 6, 2007
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Exquisitely filmed and finely acted.

Full Review… | January 5, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic

The acting is quite splendid, especially in the vicinity of the quite splendid Watts.

December 30, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Painted Veil

The cinematography is stunning but the outstanding performances by Watts and Norton are what elevates this honest material to a memorable experience, as they give shape to complex characters in an extremely engaging drama about resentment, forgiveness and love.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A movie I was completely unaware of, and therefor surprised by... very pleasantly surprised by. It gets a little montage-y toward the end, and the odd shot is clumsy, but Norton and Watts are outstanding in this adaptation of Somerset Maugham's classic. A fine, exotic historical romance - see it!

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Visually stunning at times, The Painted Veil is a heartwarming love story. The refreshing part of this love story is it shows the effort to find love, accept love and to forgive.

Thomas Johnston
Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

The Painted Veil Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Painted Veil on our Movie forum!

News & Features