The Painted Veil has the ingredients of a great film, including cinematography (alternatively lush and parched) and high-caliber actors. I admired the potraiture of people as people -- complex, determined, adaptable. I would recommend it for a view on these counts alone. The film is lacking in a few respects. The plot does not drive the film but complicates it. The politics involved with the military, villagers, warlords, etc. are distracting and prevent the emotional tensions between the two main characters from playing out in the foreground. The lack of a memorable scoring contributes to the overall lack of emotional punch to the movie. Still, it is an interesting story and is visually gorgeous, so the Painted Veil is, nonetheless, worth a look.