The Painted Veil (2006)

Internet Movie Database Movie Reviews

From the novel of the same name by Somerset Maugham

A doctor takes his unfaithful wife to a cholera outbreak in China.

My book group read this and it was OUTSTANDING. The characters, descriptions, events all masterfully written, what a wonderful book.

I chose the 1934 version of this for our Saturday Zoom Movie night, and when my turn to pick rolled around again, we watched the remake. And it was good, but like the previous one, suffered from rewriting.

This was really good in so many ways; Ed Norton makes a good obsessed researcher, and Naomi Watts is a good choice for Kitty, the vain socialite who marries him. And I love Liev Schrieber, what a good choice he is for Kitty’s lover Townsend!

This movie sticks closer to the book in most ways; the big difference is at the end, when Kitty returns to London, there is a scene between her and Townsend that is a modern woman-empowering rewrite of the book; it’s not bad, but it completely changes her character and her choices. Not sure I’m happy with that…but it’s still a very good movie.

Why don’t you read the book, and then come over and we’ll watch it again and discuss the ending?

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