Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Painted Veil (2006)

Set in the 1920's, Kitty Fane is a pretty, upper-class woman whom wants to marry so she can move out of her parents house, away from her domineering mother. She meets and is courted by the shy, middle class Doctor Walter Fane and they marry soon after, despite her not loving him. When they relocate to Shanghai where he is stationed, she has an affair with Charles Townsend, a married British vice consul. When Walter finds out about it he confronts Kitty and threatens to divorce her on the grounds of adultery. Kitty pleads to be allowed to divorce him quietly and he agrees, if Townsend will leave his wife and marry her. But when she tells this to Charlie, he doesn't accept. So Walter punishes Kitty by forcing her to accompany him to Mei-tan-fu, a small village in China where he has volunteered to treat victims of a deadly cholera epidemic that has been spreading throughout the village. They travel an arduous, two-week-long overland journey and while Walter is treating patients, Kitty who doesn't know what to do with herself, volunteers to help out at the orphanage run by a group of French nuns. During the time they're in the village, Walter and Kitty forget about their unhappiness and slowly their marriage begins to bloom. A visually stunning film and interesting love story; with amazing performances by the two leads, Norton and Watts. Remake of the 1934 Greta Garbo picture. Starring Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Toby Jones, Diana Rigg 8/10

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