''The Painted Veil'' is a 2006 drama based on [[TheFilmOfTheBook the novel of the same name]] by W. Somerset Maugham and stars Creator/EdwardNorton and Creator/NaomiWatts.

Kitty Garstin is a shallow {{socialite}} who decides to marry boring bacteriologist Walter Fane when she finds that she's out of suitors and her [[MyBelovedSmother mother]] pushes her to make the match. Walter's work takes him to UsefulNotes/{{Shanghai}}, and there Kitty settles into married life and [[YourCheatingHeart embarks on an affair]] with Charles Townsend, the married British vice consul. Walter discovers the affair and offers Kitty two options: divorce on the grounds of adultery, or she can go with him to a small village out in the country where a cholera epidemic is in full swing. Realising [[{{Jerkass}} Charlie won't leave his wife for her]], Kitty accompanies Walter to the village.

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Kitty is much more attracted to shameless flirt and womanizer Charlie than her devoted husband.
* AltarTheSpeed: Walter wants to marry before he returns to Shanghai, even though he and Kitty barely know each other.
* BatmanGambit: Walter is determined to punish his wife. After he finds out about her affair, he sets up a situation where her only choices are to follow him into a cholera epidemic or public scandal. He predicts her every move, and Charlie's, perfectly.
* BeautifulDreamer: Kitty stumbles upon Walter who has fallen asleep at his desk. This marks the point in the movie where she does start to feel affection towards him. The scene isn't in the original novel, however, and there's generally less of an indication that she has any feelings for him in the novel.
* BecomingTheMask: Kitty starts out following Walter to Mei-Tan-Fu to play the devoted wife who can't bear to leave her husband even in the face of nearly certain death. By the end, it's true.
* TheCasanova: Charlie is implied to have had a number of affairs, Kitty merely being his latest conquest.
* CharacterDevelopment: In spades- Kitty gets to see Walter at work, and sees how respected and liked he is. In turn, Walter sees Kitty volunteering at the orphanage and sees that she isn't as shallow as he first thought.
* DeathSeeker: Walter. Kitty follows suit when she realizes her husband doesn't intend for either of them to live.
* FourthDateMarriage: Played realistically. Walter has fallen in love with Kitty almost immediately. Kitty barely knows his name. The marriage is a disaster.
* FriendToAllChildren: Walter is fond of babies, which makes him more sympathetic in Kitty's eyes and causes her to realize that maybe she has misunderstood him.
* HappyMarriageCharade: Part of Kitty's punishment is she must go along with Walter publicly taunting her by pretending to be a happy, loving couple.
* HerHeartWillGoOn: [[spoiler: Kitty, after Walter's death.]]
* HiddenDepths: The central story of the film is Walter and Kitty each discovering the other is much more than they initially thought.
* LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone: At least as well as can be accomplished with a nun and a couple dozen little girls watching. But when the Mother Superior recommends Kitty play something "a little more soothing" she takes the hint and plays something to seduce Walter instead. Her choice of the song that was playing when they met effectively leaves them "alone."
* LoveMartyr: Walter married Kitty knowing how selfish she was, but he still loved her and [[LoveRedeems thought she would change]].
* LovingAShadow: Walter loves Kitty at first sight, though he comes to realize he has no idea who she actually is after her affair. She calls him out on this and he eventually agrees with her.
** Kitty loves Charlie, but when it comes right down to it, he doesn't actually love her back.
* MightyWhiteyAndMellowYellow: Seen with the Fanes' neighbour Waddington and his Manchurian lover Wan Xi.
* NunsNRosaries: The French order running the orphanage in the village.
* OldFashionedRowboatDate: Returning to the village by boat turns into this.
* OldMaid: Kitty's fear that this and years more of living with her mother will be her fate drive her to marry Walter.
* ParasolOfPrettiness: Being an upper-class girl, Kitty protects herself from the sun.
* ThePlague: Walter goes to Mei-Tan-Fu to try and stop a Cholera epidemic from spreading. [[spoiler: In the end, he is killed by the disease.]]
* RomancingTheWidow: [[spoiler: Charlie tries this years later in London. Kitty shoots him down.]]
* SceneryPorn: The scenes in rural China
* SexlessMarriage: When Walter discovers Kitty's adultery and takes her to Mei-Tan-Fu. They eventually make up, resulting in a SexyDiscretionShot
* SomeoneToRememberHimBy: [[spoiler: Kitty regards her son as Walter's child and tells him about his father.]]
* TheUnfairSex: Averted. The film is pretty much on Walter's side and makes Kitty earn her forgiveness. Granted, he is depicted as a bit overboard with his punishment.
* UnwantedSpouse: Walter is this when he marries Kitty, but then Kitty assumes the role when her adultery is uncovered.
* UptightLovesWild: There's definitely an element of this in Walter's attraction to Kitty.
* WhosYourDaddy: Kitty is unsure of whether her unborn child is Walter's or Charlie's, but Walter agrees to raise the child as his own, and ultimately Kitty treats the child as his.
** In the book [[spoiler:It was definitely Charlie's]].
* YourCheatingHeart