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December 14, 2006

The Painted Veil

Paintedveil W. Somerset Maugham's novel serves as the basis for this labor of love from Ed Norton (producer on the film) and Naomi Watts about an ill-suited '20s era couple who discover love late in their spoiled marriage. General physician and bacteriologist Walter Fane (Ed Norton) makes a critical mistake of skipping courtship in favor of proposing marriage to privileged English society debutante Kitty (Naomi Watts). Once married, Kitty wastes no time entering into an adulterous affair with British Vice Council member Charles Townsend (Liev Schreiber). Walter confronts Kitty with a choice of either accepting a divorce or accompanying him to Shanghai, China where he goes to assist with a Cholera epidemic devastating a small village there. Director John Curran ("We Don't Live Here Anymore") captures the profound beauty of China's lush countryside where his characters discover the true nature of their relationship. Diana Rigg and Toby Jones give strong supporting performances in this philosophical narrative about compatibility and personal discovery.

Rated PG-13. 125 mins. (B) (Three Stars)

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