The Painted Veil Review and DVD Features
The Painted Veil
20 Dec 2006
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Remake of 1934 Garbo Classic
Based on one of Somerset Maugham’s best stories, this is a movie that will please anyone looking for an old-fashioned, romantic drama about love lost and love earned.
Naomi Watts and Ed Norton’s Story
The Painted Veil is a love story set in the 1920s that tells the story of a young English couple, Walter, a middle class doctor and Kitty, an upper-class woman, who get married for the wrong reasons and relocate to Shanghai, where she falls in love with someone else. When he uncovers her infidelity, in an act of vengeance, he accepts a JOB in a remote village in China ravaged by a deadly epidemic, and takes her along. Their journey brings meaning to their relationship and gives them purpose in one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth.
The cinematography is completely stunning, mixed with beautiful Chinese countryside.
RT/Meta Critic Review
The production values are characteristically sumptuous, William Daniels’ photography is lustrous, and Boleslawski directs with suitable flair. (Click here to see)
Exquisitely filmed and finely acted (Click here to see)
John Curran controls the redemptive spirit of Maugham’s book with merciful restraint, and gets excellent performances all round. (Click here to see)
Wonderful scenery, great performances and a superb story.(Click here to see)
Incredible movie. One of the best I’ve seen. Beautiful imagery and moving story. I loved this one. Wendys (MetaCritic)
Warner Independent presents The Painted Veil in a standard single-disc keepcase with attractive coverart and discart reminiscent of the menu above.
As if the point slipped through the review, The Painted Veil is a stunningly beautiful film. Visually, that beauty pouring through this anamorphic widescree transfer is brilliantly saturated and clean, but has a few issues. Edge enhancement rears its ugly head a bit more than it should, especially with distanced shots on individuals. Also, there’s a fair amount of grain that causes a few faces to get a shade blocky. Digital noise and such can be seen here and there as well. However, even amidst these problems, the visual grandiose of this film can still be clearly seen. Most prominent, even over any of these issues, is the incredible color palette. Rich with a myriad of olive and emerald hues, this really is a feast for the eyes. Minor details in architecture, bricks, and other textures were fine as well. There’s a lot of beauty to be seen in this transfer – it’s just underneath a few blemishes.
Such a quaint, nuanced film also carries a soft aural presentation. Within The Painted Veil‘s Dolby 5.1 track, lots of richness and enveloping strength can be heard. Dialogue wasn’t distorted and came out quite crisp. Of course, the lower frequency channel isn’t utilized much in such a quiet film. However, the phenomenal score sounded fantastic. Each chord and chime enveloped the dazzling visuals wonderfully. Though there was some remote usage of the surround channels, this track mainly felt like a lightly extended Stereo track. Most of the activity stayed to the front channels with very gradual sound trickling to the rear. The Painted Veil, in essence, sounded wonderful amidst it’s inherent limitations. Subtitles are available in English, French, and Spanish.
Here’s a major downer – nothing. There’s a Scene Selection and a Theatrical Trailer, and that’s all we’re working with here. Hopefully, this is a release that Warner Independent will delve into further in the future, because some discussion on book translation, cinematography, and score composition would be quite welcome and of interest.