MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,944 this week

Possession (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  30 August 2002 (USA)
6.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 11,296 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 168 user | 100 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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 04 Apr 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 13 Jan 2013
 
a list of 35 images
created 17 May 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 16 Oct 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 04 Jul 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Possession" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Possession (2002)

Possession (2002) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Possession.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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 | 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
Possession (2008)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A woman's life is thrown into chaos after a freak car accident sends her husband and brother-in-law into comas. Thrills arrive after the brother-in-law wakes up, thinking he's his brother.

Directors: Joel Bergvall, Simon Sandquist
Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lee Pace, Michael Landes
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
Possession (1981)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen
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
Nurse Betty (2000)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Comedy about a widow's post-traumatic obsession with a soap star.

Director: Neil LaBute
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock
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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A small-town woman tries to achieve her goal of becoming a flight attendant.

Director: Bruno Barreto
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Kelly Preston
The Possession I (2012)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

Director: Ole Bornedal
Stars: Natasha Calis, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Ropewalk (2000)
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An ensemble romantic comedy chronicling the lives of a group of twenty-somethings that deals with adolescence of growing up and the realities that life has to offer, set on the island of Nantucket.

Director: Matt Brown
Stars: Jayce Bartok, Nathan Bexton, Michael Buie
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Blanche Glover
...
Ellen Ash
...
Fergus Wolfe
...
Cropper
Tom Hickey ...
Blackadder
...
Paola
...
Euan
...
Sir George
...
Lady Bailey
Craig Crosbie ...
Hildebrand
Christopher Good ...
Crabb-Robinson
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 August 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Posesión  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Possesso
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

 
pretty to look at, but have the filmmakers understood the book?
29 April 2004 | by (Wellington, NZ) – See all my reviews

This film offers some gorgeous visuals and some great performances - notably those by Jeremy Northam and Jennifer Ehle (a bit of a casting joke since those two are famous for playing Jane Austen's Mr. Knightley and Elisabeth Bennet, respectively) - but as a literary adaptation, the movie falls short on too many points. Sadly, the filmmakers have missed out on most of the central themes of the novel, without substituting a sufficiently interesting interpretation of their own.

A.S. Byatt's novel examines the shifting relationships between men and women a century and a half apart - to that end, the characters in the two storylines (the Victorian and the contemporary) mirror each other deliberately. For some unfathomable reason, the screenwriters have decided to cut out completely two crucial characters from the modern-time storyline

  • Val, Roland's girlfriend, and the feminist (and Lesbian) researcher


friend of Maud's, whose name I forget - their equivalents in the Victorian period are Ash's wife, and Christabel's lover Blanche.

One of the main interests of the original story lies in the ways in which the relationships between those characters have changed because of the changes in society that the 20th century has brought - particularly the way the main characters relate to each other (significantly, Maud is the stronger and more successful person in the modern-time relationship) - but also with respect to all the other characters involved (Roland and Val's relationship, which is based almost exclusively on sex, as contrasted with Ash's and his wife's relationship, which is entirely sex-less - the point here being that in a truly fulfilled relationship, these two things must be in balance).

Also, the characters, particularly that of Roland, are bent and twisted beyond recognition - I have nothing against Aaron Eckhard or his performance, but he simply plays a completely different character from the Roland Mitchell of the novel - who is *not* brash (nor is he celibate), but has a certain mousy-ness about him that is quite essential to the plot. Also, he is British for a reason, so making him into an American adds a completely wrong dimension to his and Maud's differences. Judging from the director's commentary, the main reason for casting Eckhard was that he's a buddie of director Neil La Bute's - it's a sad thing that the filmmakers decided to twist the character and plot to accomodate the actor, rather than making a more informed casting choice, as I am sure there are plenty of suitable British actors out there that would have fitted the part admirably.

Gwyneth Paltrow offers a convincing enough performance, and is well-cast as Maud Bailey - a woman whose physical attractiveness stands in the way of her being taken seriously as the bright academic she is. But she is not being given enough scope to be the reserved intellectual she is supposed to be, because her relationship with Roland developes far too quickly, and with not enough plausibility (particularly given a certain lack of chemistry between the two actors) - thereby missing another of the main themes (and contrasts) in the novel.

Having said that, the film is worth watching for its final five minutes alone - and incidentally, this is the one scene that catches most accurately the spirit, and the point, of the original novel.


58 of 69 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
Unbiased book vs. movie advice kennahuliagulia
Boring and useless deadraque
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:
?