The Painted Veil is a 2006 Chinese-American drama film directed by John Curran. The screenplay by Ron Nyswaner is based on the 1925 novel of the same title by W. Somerset Maugham. Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Toby Jones, Anthony Wong Chau Sang and Liev Schreiber appear in the leading roles.
This is the third Film adaptation of the Maugham book, following a 1934 film starring Herbert Marshall and Greta Garbo and a 1957 version called The Seventh Sin with Bill Travers and Eleanor Parker.
- The very idea that a woman should marry any Tom, Dick, or Harry... regardless of her own feelings is simply prehistoric.
- Does seem silly, really. To put all that effort into... something that's just going to die.
- If a man hasn't what's necessary to make a woman love him... then it's his fault, not hers.
- That's exactly what I'm trying to say. I feel useless.
- For God sakes, will you stop punishing me?
- There's nothing to forgive.
- No one important, darling.
- I knew when I married you that you were selfish and spoiled. But I loved you. I knew that you married me only to get as far away from your mother as possible... and I hoped that one day there'd be something more. I was wrong.
- I despise myself. For allowing myself to love you once.
- It doesn't matter now.
- Forgive me.
- These men are like animals. They have no vision. They only have hunger and strength. Men like this have held the real power in China since I was young. But that time is coming to an end. There's no place for them in the new China.
- I think China belongs to Chinese people... but the rest of the world seems to disagree.
- But it would be nice to do this work together... without your country's guns pointing at our people.
- But when love and duty are one, then grace is within you.
- Kitty: They brought in a new baby today. The girls named her Zan Xien.It means "brand-new." The nuns are going to call it Katherine, which, of course... none of the girls will be able to say. Thank goodness for those nuns. They do so much for so little in return.
- Walter: I suppose you could look at it that way.
- Kitty: You suppose?
- Walter: I think it might be a bit more complicated than that.
- Kitty: They take in desperate children and give them a chance at life. What could be so complicated about that?
- Walter: They also go to young mothers in their homes. They ask them to give their babies to the convent. They offer them money to support their families to persuade them to do it. They're not just here to run an orphanage, your nuns. They're turning those children into little Catholics. None of us are in China without a reason.
- Kitty: Still, on the whole... I think that what they're doing is a pretty good deed, don't you?
- Walter: I'm here to study bacteria. I don't feel a need to have an opinion about the rest.
- Kitty: Well, I do, and I admire them. I don't think it has to be so complicated and gloomy. And I think what you're doing, for instance, is incredibly noble.
- Walter: You used to feel contempt for me. Don't you still?
- Kitty: Walter. I can't believe that you, with all your cleverness... should have such little sense of proportion. We humans are more complex than your silly little microbes. We're unpredictable. We make mistakes and we disappoint.
- Walter: Yes, we certainly do.
- Kitty: I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm not the perfect young woman that you want me to be. I'm just ordinary. I never tried to pretend that I was anything else.
- Walter: No, you certainly didn't.
- Kitty: I like the theater, and dancing... and playing tennis. I like games. I like men who play games. God forgive me, that's the way I was brought up.
- Walter: I play a pretty fierce hand of bridge.
- Kitty: Oh, well, that's bloody exciting. And you, you dragged me around all those interminable galleries in Venice... blathering on about the miracle of the canals... and the flushing of the lagoon system, or some such nonsense. Honestly, I'd have been much happier playing golf at Sandwich.
- Walter: I suppose you're right.
- Kitty: It was silly of us to look for qualities in each other that we never had.
- Walter: Yes. Yes, it was.