Watching the Edge of Love over the weekend really got me thinking of my ultimate number 1 movie , The Painted Veil, which I saw a couple of times in the cinema last year (which I never do). I loved the movie so much I went out to get the book by Somerset Maugham which I have re-read twice (which I also never do).
You will have no trouble falling in love with this movie, it combines a powerful love story, cultural conflict, and engaging performance by Naomi watts and Edward Norton.
The Painted Veil begins in 1920’s London society, where Kitty (Watts) is considered an old maid though she is just in her early twenties. Rather than stay confided to her mother Kitty chooses to marry the very boring and dull bacteriologist Walter Fane (Norton) and quickly moves with him to Shanghai.
Walter is not quite the knight in shining armor Kitty imagined, and she gives up all hope on him after an awkward romantic encounter with his socks on and the lights off. Kitty then finds herself attracted to the Vice Counsel Charles Townsend (Liev Schreiber- whom she is now married to, they also have a baby together). Their relationship develops into a love affair and it's not long before Walter discovers their affair. Broken hearted and furious, Walter takes up a job in a cholera-infested village and cruelly insists that Kitty come with him. As disease and strife tear apart the world around them, Kitty and Walter find a way to come back together.
More impressive then the plot is amazing cinematography. At times, the scenery is so beautiful you literally forget you are in the cinema! Both Watts and Norton give outstanding performances and the chemistry between them is so passionate and strong. At times, a glance between them was moving enough to make you shiver.
The Painted Veil is so romantic, but its also about self-discovery in light of cultural differences and bleak circumstances. Truly unmissable.