Wednesday, March 28, 2007


THE PAINTED VEIL (2006, USA, John Curran, Ron Nyswaner screenplay from W. Somerset Maugham novel)
When love and duty are one, grace is upon you.
A narcissistic and over-privileged young woman "taken in adultery" is challenged when her husband volunteers to fight cholera in a remote Chinese village. The sympathetic portrayal of a Catholic orphanage lends spiritual resonance to a story of moral awakening. Rooted lead performances by co-producers Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, combined with Maugham's characteristic British restraint and psychological insight, temper what might sound like melodramatic stuff into something understated and substantial – though the novel’s more ambivalent and complex ending is not retained. (Nor was it in the 1934 version, often considered a lesser Garbo vehicle, but directed by renowned Method teacher Richard Boleslawski, who trained at the Moscow Art Theatre and founded what became the Actor’s Studio in New York.) Gorgeous cinematography.

No comments: