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Possession

PG-13 Released Aug 16, 2002 1h 42m Romance Drama List
63% Tomatometer 156 Reviews 58% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings Maud Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow), a brilliant English academic, is researching the life and work of poet Christabel La Motte. Roland Michell (Aaron Eckhart) is an American scholar in London to study Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam), now best-known for a collection of poems dedicated to his wife. When Maud and Roland discover a cache of love letters that appear to be from Ash to La Motte, they follow a trail of clues across England, echoing the journey of the couple over a century earlier. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Possession

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Critics Consensus

It's perhaps a bit tame and uninspiring, considering its subject matter, but Possession manages enough romance and period intrigue to satisfy most fans of its source material.

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Critics Reviews

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Nell Minow Common Sense Media Glossy romance with pretty people. Rated: 4/5 Dec 27, 2010 Full Review Empire Magazine Rated: 3/5 May 2, 2003 Full Review Kimberley Jones Austin Chronicle Rated: 2.5/5 Mar 10, 2003 Full Review Jan Stuart The Advocate Possession is finally too truncated for material that wants to be a sinuous six-hour miniseries. Jul 27, 2021 Full Review Rob Gonsalves Rob's Movie Vault A film like this rides on the quality of the acting, and the Brits -- Northam and Ehle -- invest their forbidden love with centuries of fine repressed English tradition. Rated: B Sep 22, 2007 Full Review Film Threat Rated: 4/5 Jan 9, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Lanfranco C Traveling in the past, but with a little boredom. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 07/02/24 Full Review Alec B A mostly boring romance and mystery. It's a shame that the recurring theft of primary source documents doesn't really go anywhere. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/28/24 Full Review colin m Boring movie retracing the love life of some poet. Uninteresting stuff. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Radheshwari S This is one of my all-time favourite movies. Maybe because it is full of that intense romantic mood I still believe is so close to pure Heaven on Earth. It's about poets, lovers and Eternity. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review John H 2021 now. This is not a current movie. In Possession, you are invited into two worlds. Both today's and also an earlier life where certain relationships, even at that time, were unique. What emerges is a duet of love stories . . . each plausible. Both sets of players could be real, their lives entirely possible in their own times. The earlier romance somewhat complicated for obvious reasons. The recent romance complicated by established and accepted social mores. You may identify with any of the five characters. I did. With two of them. And this continued to be exciting until the bitter end. 'Bitter', as you will find, entirely apropos. I blush to admit that -even as a guy- this movie reveals me to be a hopeless romantic. Thoroughly enjoyed this production to extent that I purchased the hardback book afterwards. Four stars is an honest appraisal. Nice pace. Interesting plotline(s). Nicely re-written for the screen. Everything 'happenable'. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 08/20/21 Full Review Audience Member I was drawn to this more from the curiosity of how they would adapt Byatt's source material for the screen, as the novel is essentially a literary detective story relying on uncovered letters from the past, found by scholars in the present, to move along the majority of the plot action. Any director or screenwriter was probably biting off more than they could chew here as it was never going to be easy getting the unique storytelling device used in the novel to create same effect in a 100 minute film. This movie was a reminder and prime example why I don't think it is fair to rate movies based on novels I have previously read. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Maud Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow), a brilliant English academic, is researching the life and work of poet Christabel La Motte. Roland Michell (Aaron Eckhart) is an American scholar in London to study Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam), now best-known for a collection of poems dedicated to his wife. When Maud and Roland discover a cache of love letters that appear to be from Ash to La Motte, they follow a trail of clues across England, echoing the journey of the couple over a century earlier.
Director
Neil LaBute
Producer
Barry Levinson, Paula Weinstein
Screenwriter
A.S. Byatt, David Henry Hwang, Laura Jones, Neil LaBute
Distributor
USA Films
Production Co
Warner Brothers, USA Films, Baltimore Spring Creek
Rating
PG-13 (Some Thematic Elements|Sexuality)
Genre
Romance, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Aug 16, 2002, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Feb 12, 2014
Box Office (Gross USA)
$10.1M
Runtime
1h 42m
Sound Mix
Dolby Stereo, Dolby Digital, Dolby A, Surround, Dolby SR
Aspect Ratio
Scope (2.35:1)
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