The Painted Veil is a wonderful film. It was apparently Ed Norton's pet project, and it shows. It's a little slow moving at times, but in telling this story, that is probably a good thing. The movie centers around a woman, Kitty, played luminously by Naomi Watts, who is rather spoiled. After getting roundly criticized by her mother for never settling down and getting married, she marries a man she would never otherwise have chosen, mostly because he is soon to leave for Hong Kong. Walter Fane, Edward Norton, is a bacteriologist, and very quiet, and almost shy. Because of this, he does not hold Kitty's attentions, and she is quickly seduced by Charlie Townsend, Liev Schreiber (Naomi Watt's fiancé). Walter discovers their affair, and gives kitty an ultimatum, either accompany him into the middle of a cholera epidemic, or go through a messy divorce. This is well planned on his part because in doing so, he exposes Charlie for the sleaze-ball he really is. During the epidemic, Walter and Kitty learn more about each other because they must. They are forced into really looking at each other, and they eventually fall in love all over again.
It's a beautiful story, and the setting is wonderful.