The Painted Veil Reviews

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December 29, 2006
This version has that element the previous films lacked: a true understanding of Maugham's belief that true love and purpose are inseparable.
December 29, 2006
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.
December 29, 2006
[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.
December 29, 2006
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.
December 29, 2006
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.
December 28, 2006
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.
December 28, 2006
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.
December 22, 2006
The Painted Veil may begin too slowly, but it also ends too soon.
December 22, 2006
The Painted Veil lifts Maugham's story clear of its prissy, attenuated spirituality, and into genuine passion.
December 21, 2006
Feels like it's going through the motions, applying period gloss to a story that needs to be more tactile.
December 21, 2006
The Painted Veil lifts Maugham's story clear of its prissy, attenuated spirituality, and into genuine passion.
December 20, 2006
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.
December 20, 2006
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.
December 20, 2006
In The Painted Veil, terrific actors give glum performances.
December 19, 2006
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.
December 19, 2006
Norton and Watts are top-notch, as are Schreiber and Toby Jones.
December 19, 2006
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.
December 19, 2006
It's impeccable, but leaves you cold.
December 19, 2006
It's really the Norton-Watts show, and they make The Painted Veil resonate with love and regret.
December 19, 2006
The third film iteration of The Painted Veil turns W. Somerset Maugham's distaff bildungsroman into a fine romance.
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