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Which is better -- the book or the movie? EW looks at both versions of ''The Painted Veil'' and ''The Good German''

THE PAINTED VEIL
Image credit: The Painted Veil: Glen Wilson
THE PAINTED VEIL

Which is better -- the book or the movie?

The Painted Veil
W. Somerset Maugham
Director John Curran tempers the melancholy setting of Maugham's 1925 novel — China during a cholera epidemic — with vibrant landscapes and an extra fillip of romance in the marriage between a British doc (Edward Norton) and his wife (Naomi Watts).
Last Word Maugham's story becomes both more harrowing and tender on the big screen. — Hannah Tucker

The Good German
Joseph Kanon
Screenwriter Paul Attanasio reframes Kanon's post-WWII thriller by tweaking the ending and alternating between three narrators: journalist Jake (George Clooney), his lost love Lena (Cate Blanchett), and his driver (Tobey Maguire).
Last Word Though Steven Soderbergh's B&W cinematography is exquisite, Kanon's novel is more thought-provoking. — Michelle Kung

Originally posted Dec 15, 2006 Published in issue #912 Dec 22, 2006 Order article reprints
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