The Painted Veil ★★★
Edward Norton is the buttoned-up bacteriologist-in-a- white-suit profoundly changed by life in the Far East in this lavish production of W Somerset Maugham’s 1925 colonial romance, which tells of a society gal who ends up in a loveless marriage. It was previously filmed in 1934 with Greta Garbo in the lead, but here it’s Naomi Watts who gets to wear flapper dresses, sit decorously under a parasol on a sampan and find her inner saint in the midst of a cholera epidemic and nationalist uprising. Shot on location in Shanghai, director John Curran’s serviceable pic recalls Fitzcarraldo and The Mosquito Coast. And Toby Jones turns up as the man from the British consul, naturally.
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