By Tim Purtell
Updated May 04, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

As an obsessive British bacteriologist in The Painted Veil, Edward Norton combs his hair into a slick helmet, every strand in place. Before making love with his wife (Naomi Watts), he places his slippers neatly by the side of the bed. Much later, as the two rekindle their shattered marriage amid a cholera epidemic in 1920s China, Norton’s ‘do becomes more relaxed, wind-blown. These are precise details in a handsome throwback that’s admirably refined, if too much so. EXTRAS None, and considering the seven years Norton spent shepherding this project, his commentary would have been welcome.

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