The Painted Veil

The Painted Veil

  • 2006
  • PG-13
  • 125 min
  • Canada, China, USA
  • drama, romance

A British medical doctor fights a cholera outbreak in a small Chinese village, while also being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.

Director: John Curran

Writer: Ron Nyswaner

Stars: Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Diana Rigg, Toby Jones

Visually, The Painted Veil has all the trappings of a stuffy period drama, but Norton's and Watts's deft portrayals of imperfect, complicated characters give the film a modern-day spark.

Rotten Tomatoes
Naomi Watts in The Painted Veil (2006) The Painted Veil (2006) The Painted Veil (2006) The Painted Veil (2006) Edward Norton in The Painted Veil (2006) The Painted Veil (2006)


  • John Curran
    John Curran
    John Curran (born September 11, 1960) is an American film director and screenwriter. Born in Utica, New York, Curran studied illustration and design at Syracuse University, then worked as an illustrator, graphic designer, and production designer in Manhattan before moving to Sydney, Australia in 1986. There he worked on television commercials before writing and directing the short film Down...

Main Cast


  • Peter Calder (New Zealand Herald)

    Norton, an American, and Australian Watts are so busy struggling with their accents that they never really find their characters' hearts. But it's a solid piece of period escapism.

  • Stella Papamichael (

    Overall this is a satisfyingly slow-burning romance, beautifully scored and acted. | Full Review...

  • Peter Bradshaw (Guardian)

    Combine a strong-limbed narrative about marital frustration with a painstaking account of the British imperial presence in 1920s China. | Full Review...


Tagline: Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people.

Source: based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Genres: drama, romance

Categories: china, shanghai, cholera, foreign aid, doctor, epidemic, loveless marriage, unfaithful wife, remote village, 1920s, redemption, boredom, british empire, adultery, diplomat


Producer: Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Bob Yari, Sara Colleton, Antonia Barnard, Jean-Fran├žois Fonlupt, Yasmine Golchan, Ming Beaver Kwei

Editor: Alexandre de Franceschi

Casting: Ellen Lewis

Director of photography: Stuart Dryburgh

Original music composer: Alexandre Desplat

Costume design: Ruth Myers

Executive producer: Mark Gordon, Ron Nyswaner, Robert Katz, John Curran

Production design: Juhua Tu

Details and Technical Specs

Runtime: 125 min

Country: Canada, China, USA

Language: English, Mandarin, French

Sound Mix: SDDS, Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1

Color: Color

Also Known As

  • Il velo dipinto (IT)
  • Al otro lado del mundo (AR)
  • Le voile des illusions (FR)
  • El velo pintado (ES)
  • Kirjava huntu (FI)