The Painted Veil

It is 10 years since I left Australia and moved to Hong Kong and thankfully I went willingly, single and as an independent woman and not as the reluctant wife of a man I didn't love.

Such is the fate of Kitty Fane, the heroine of The Painted Veil . A spoilt daughter of a well-to-do family, she relents to pressure from her parents and marries the earnest Dr Walter Fane (played by one of my favourite actors, Edward Norton).

She returns with him to China, where he works as a specialist in infectious diseases, and – bored - soon starts an affair with Charlie Townsend, a civil servant who is everything her husband isn't – outgoing, charming etc.

When her husband finds out about the affair, he gives her an ultimatum – either he divorces her on the grounds of adultery or she accompanies him to the Chinese interior where he has volunteered his services to help fight a cholera outbreak.

Without giving too much away, Kitty (Naomi Watts) learns a lot about herself and her husband surrounded as they are by the depths of human misery and an unlikely love blossoms.

Well-acted, shot in some beautiful locations in China and with an award-winning score, this is one film adaptation of a great book (by Somerset Maugham) that does the original justice.