Possession (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  30 August 2002 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 11,394 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 169 user | 101 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

A pair of literary sleuths unearth the amorous secret of two Victorian poets only to find themselves falling under a passionate spell.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sylvia (2003)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Story of the relationship between the poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.

Director: Christine Jeffs
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, Lucy Davenport
Bounce (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A man switches plane tickets with another man who dies in that plane in a crash. The man falls in love with the deceased one's wife.

Director: Don Roos
Stars: Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natasha Henstridge
Emma (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In rural 1800s England things go bad for a young matchmaker after she finds a man for another woman.

Director: Douglas McGrath
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cosmo, Greta Scacchi
Proof (2005)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students, who wants to search through his papers, and her estranged sister, who shows up to help settle his affairs.

Director: John Madden
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Hope Davis
Hush (1998)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Helen is the young girlfriend of good-looking Jackson Baring. When Helen gets pregnant and marries Jackson, they decide to move to his hometown, Kilronan, and have a baby there. But his ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Darby
Stars: Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnathon Schaech
Sliding Doors (1998)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A London woman's love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train. We see it both ways, in parallel.

Director: Peter Howitt
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Modernization of Charles Dickens classic story finds the hapless Finn as a painter in New York pursuing his unrequited and haughty childhood love.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hank Azaria
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Quiet, unassuming Adam is changing in a major way, thanks to his new girlfriend, art student Evelyn. Adam's friends are a little freaked by the transformation.

Director: Neil LaBute
Stars: Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz, Gretchen Mol
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a man and woman flirt with each other at a wedding reception, the sexual tension seems spontaneous. As they break from the party to a hotel room, the flirtation turns into a night filled with passion and remorse.

Director: Hans Canosa
Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Aaron Eckhart, Yury Tsykun
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Unhappy couples fall apart and hop into other beds with other people.

Director: Neil LaBute
Stars: Amy Brenneman, Aaron Eckhart, Ben Stiller
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two business executives--one an avowed misogynist, the other recently emotionally wounded by his love interest--set out to exact revenge on the female gender by seeking out the most innocent, uncorrupted girl they can find and ruining her life.

Director: Neil LaBute
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Matt Malloy, Stacy Edwards
Bwakaw (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Plot: Bwakaw is a drama-comedy about growing old, and everyones fear of growing old alone. Rene is a gay man who came out of the closet at age 70... See full synopsis »

Director: Jun Lana
Stars: Eddie Garcia, Princess, Rez Cortez


Cast overview, first billed only:
Blanche Glover
Ellen Ash
Fergus Wolfe
Tom Hickey ...
Sir George
Lady Bailey
Craig Crosbie ...
Christopher Good ...


Roland Michell is an American scholar trying to make it in the difficult world of British Academia. He has yet to break out from under his mentor's shadow until he finds a pair of love letters that once belonged to one of his idols, a famous Victorian poet. Michell, after some sleuthing, narrows down the suspects to a woman not his wife, another well known Victorian poet. Roland enlists the aid of a Dr. Maud Bailey, an expert on the life of the woman in question. Together they piece together the story of a forbidden love affair, and discover one of their own. They also find themselves in a battle to hold on to their discovery before it falls into the hands of their rival, Fergus Wolfe. Written by C.D.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The past will connect them. The passion will possess them.


Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality and some thematic elements | See all certifications »


Official Sites:





Release Date:

30 August 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Posesión  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,575,214 (USA) (16 August 2002)


$66,775 (Australia) (6 December 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A large part of Church Street in Whitby was dressed to give it the appearance of a 18/19th century fishing town. Gwyneth Paltrow insisted that the whole place was screened off so that she was not visible to the small crowd of on-lookers. Jeremy Northam, however, took time to go and talk about the film to the bystanders. Miss Paltrow also turned down an offer from the local dignitaries to meet the mayor and be shown around the town. The Whitby Gazette carried a massive banner headline declaring "PALTROW SNUBS WHITBY". See more »


When Maude is in her car waiting for Roland to come out of the museum, her window is down. When he gets in the car and they begin talking, it is rolled up. See more »


[first lines]
Randolph Ash: They say that women change. 'Tis so, but you are ever-constant in your changefulness. Like that still thread of falling river, one from source to last embrace, in the still pool ever-renewed and ever-moving on, from first to last, a myriad water-drops.
See more »


References The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) See more »


Performed by Ramón Vargas
Conducted by Gabriel Yared
Music by Gabriel Yared
Original lyrics by Peter Gosling
Italian translation: Michela Antonello
Orchestra leader: Cathy Thompson
Produced by Gabriel Yared and Graham Walker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Romance with no Surprises
26 June 2003 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The first movie from Neil Labute ('In the Company of Men') was an amazing film. I dare to say that it was almost a masterpiece: black humor, splendid dialogs, original story, I love it. His next movie ('Your Friends & Neighbors') was an average black comedy and I was a little disappointed, but then, with the wonderful 'Nurse Betty', Neil Labute's prestige with me was redeemed. Possession is a romance with no surprises: since the first meeting between Maud Bailey (the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow) and Roland Michel (Aaron Eckhart), the romance between them is very predictable. Roland Michel, an American living and working in London, finds some original documents that present a possible evidence that a married and faithful poet of the eighteenth century might have fallen in love with a lesbian poetess. Due to his research, he is introduced to Doctor Maud Bailey and as far as they go deeper and deeper in their research, they fall in love to each other. Their love increases in parallel to their findings about the passion between the poet and the poetess. The problem is not that the film is a bad movie, but being a Neil Labute's one, we would expect much more than that. I believe that other fans of Neil Labute will be also disappointed with this plot. However, viewers who love romances with a beautiful cast and landscapes may appreciate this film. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Possessão" ("Possession")

8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ash and his wife angelmystery16
Seen the movie, but not read the book? Enter here.... flippetskater
Boring and useless deadraque
Unbiased book vs. movie advice kennahuliagulia
Similar Movies? phantom4501
Was Roland Mitchell American in the book? tanyareeves
Discuss Possession (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: