A week or so ago I watched the movie The Painted Veil and it became one of my favorite films. It is an incredibly powerful story of forgiveness and restoration. It has some amazing scenes that would preach. Great cast, great story, amazing scenery.
Kitty Garstin (Naomi Watts) is a pretty, shallow young woman from a well-to-do London family, under pressure from her parents to find a husband. Soon after she meets him at a party, she marries Dr. Walter Fane (Edward Norton), an earnest, socially awkward doctor on leave from China, even though she does not love him. The Fanes move to Shanghai, where Dr. Fane is stationed in a government lab studying infectious diseases. Soon bored, Kitty meets Charles Townsend (Schreiber), a married British diplomat who is a serial womanizer, and has an affair with him. When Walter finds out, he gives her an ultimatum: persuade Townsend to divorce his wife and marry her, or come with him to the Chinese interior to assist with a cholera epidemic relief effort for which he has volunteered. When Townsend, to Kitty’s surprise but not Walter’s, refuses to leave his wife for Kitty, she chooses to travel with her husband. At first, Walter and Kitty barely speak to each other. Kitty is miserable, with nothing to do. She decides to volunteer at a local orphanage run by French nuns, which her husband visits often outside of his lab work. In this setting Kitty begins to see her apparently-cold husband in a new light, as she learns what a selfless and caring person he can be.
I don’t want to give away too much but yet enough to entice you to rent this wonderful film. It speaks so well to forgiveness and character and the challenging – yet not impossible – work of restoring relationships.