IMDb > Possession (2002)
Possession
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Possession (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
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Director:
Writers (WGA):
A.S. Byatt (novel)
David Henry Hwang (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Possession on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 August 2002 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The past will connect them. The passion will possess them.
Plot:
A pair of literary sleuths unearth the amorous secret of two Victorian poets only to find themselves falling under a passionate spell. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A Totally New Perspective from Neil LaBute See more (167 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Gwyneth Paltrow ... Maud Bailey

Aaron Eckhart ... Roland Michell

Jeremy Northam ... Randolph Henry Ash

Jennifer Ehle ... Christabel LaMotte

Lena Headey ... Blanche Glover

Holly Aird ... Ellen Ash

Toby Stephens ... Fergus Wolfe

Trevor Eve ... Cropper
Tom Hickey ... Blackadder

Georgia Mackenzie ... Paola

Tom Hollander ... Euan

Graham Crowden ... Sir George

Anna Massey ... Lady Bailey
Craig Crosbie ... Hildebrand
Christopher Good ... Crabb-Robinson

Elodie Frenck ... Sabine
Victoria Bensted ... Woman in Hotel

Shelley Conn ... Candi
Jonty Stephens ... Shop Owner
Alexi Kaye Campbell ... Auction Director
Hugh Simon ... Librarian
Richard Heffer ... Lord Lytton
Felicity Brangan ... Ash's Maid

Holly Earl ... May Bailey

Kate O'Toole ... Mrs. Jameson
Meg Wynn Owen ... Mrs. Lees

Roger Hammond ... Professor Spear

Jeanne Marine ... University Secretary
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Henry Ian Cusick ... Toby Byng (uncredited)
Ray Donn ... University's Professor (uncredited)
Barbara Pierson ... Mrs. Cammish (uncredited)
Natalie Stevenson ... Kate's Assistant (uncredited)
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Directed by
Neil LaBute 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
A.S. Byatt (novel)

David Henry Hwang (screenplay) and
Laura Jones (screenplay) and
Neil LaBute (screenplay)

Produced by
Len Amato .... executive producer
David Barron .... executive producer
Barry Levinson .... producer
Stephen Pevner .... co-producer
Guy Tannahill .... line producer
Paula Weinstein .... producer
 
Original Music by
Gabriel Yared 
 
Cinematography by
Jean-Yves Escoffier 
 
Film Editing by
Claire Simpson 
 
Casting by
Mary Selway 
 
Production Design by
Luciana Arrighi 
 
Art Direction by
Paul Ghirardani 
Andrew Sanders 
Su Whitaker (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Ian Whittaker 
 
Costume Design by
Jenny Beavan 
 
Makeup Department
Jan Archibald .... key hair stylist
Kay Georgiou .... hairdresser: Ms. Paltrow
Sallie Jaye .... chief makeup artist
Rebecca Lafford .... makeup artist: Ms. Paltrow
Sylvie Muinos .... hair stylist
Belinda Parish .... makeup artist (as Belinda Parrish)
Astrid Schikorra .... hair stylist
Loulia Sheppard .... hair stylist
Kate Thompson .... makeup artist
Christine Whitney .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Stephen Barker .... post-production supervisor
Jake Cook .... unit manager runner
Joseph Jayawardena .... unit manager
Iona Price .... production manager: additional photography
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Anne Braucks .... assistant director
Michael Elliott .... assistant director
Carlos Fidel .... third assistant director
Frank Gell .... second unit director
Ben Johnson .... first assistant director: second unit
Nic Shearer .... assistant director
Richard Styles .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Alison Cardy .... art trainee
Joanna Foley .... assistant art director
Tony Graysmark .... construction manager
Saskia Green .... lead art department assistant
Rohan Harris .... model maker
Christian Huband .... assistant art director
Danny Rogers .... graphic designer
Lucinda Sturgis .... props buyer
Remo Tozzi .... draughtsman
 
Sound Department
Hugo Adams .... assistant sound editor
Philip Alton .... dialogue adr editor
Mark Auguste .... supervising sound editor
Sam Auguste .... assistant sound editor
Sandy Buchanan .... adr mixer
Peter Burgis .... foley artist
John Casali .... boom operator
David Crozier .... sound mixer
Mike Dowson .... sound re-recording mixer
Peter Gleaves .... adr mixer
Alex Hudd .... sound consultant: dolby
Christian Joyce .... additional boom operator
Daniel Laurie .... adr editor
Daniel Laurie .... dialogue editor
Jed Loughran .... assistant sound editor
Nigel Mills .... supervising sound editor: final mix
Stuart Morton .... sound editor
Esther Smith .... sound technician
Richard Street .... sound re-recording mixer
Mark Taylor .... sound re-recording mixer
Derek Trigg .... foley editor
Andrew Caller .... adr assistant (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Paul Dunn .... special effects supervisor
Wilma Dunn .... special effects coordinator
Daniel Letch .... special effects technician
Scott McIntyre .... special effects
Charlie Olsen .... special effects crew
Mark Phillips .... special effects technician
Tim Jordan .... special effects technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Mark Bakowski .... digital compositor
Simon Carr .... digital compositor
Antony Hunt .... executive Producer: Mill Film
Andrew Jeffery .... visual effects producer
David Sewell .... digital compositor
Andy Stevens .... visual effects camera assistant: Millfilm
Daniel Pettipher .... 2D digital supervisor: Mill Film (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Andy Bennett .... stunt performer
Richard Bradshaw .... stunts
Rowley Irlam .... stunts
Tom Lucy .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David Appleby .... still photographer
Marc Atherfold .... clapper loader: "a" camera
Steve Casey .... electrician
Steve Costello .... gaffer
Mike Evans .... focus puller: "a" camera
Warren Evans .... rigging gaffer
Catherine Frift .... clapper loader: "b" camera
Bill Geddes .... camera grip: "a" camera
Alan Grayley .... electrician
Gordon Hayman .... camera operator: "a" camera
Leo Holloway .... video assistant
Andy Hopkins .... grip: "b" camera
Bill Kaye .... additional still photographer
Brad Larner .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Brad Larner .... focus puller: "b" camera
David Mackie .... camera trainee
Vince Madden .... rigging electrician
Simon Mills .... focus puller: "b" camera
Nic Milner .... camera operator: "b" camera
Jim Smart .... rigging electrician
Howard Smith .... Steadicam operator
Howard Smith .... camera operator: "b" camera
Chris Taylor .... video assist operator
Simon Werry .... aerial camera operator
David Holliday .... grip (uncredited)
Vince McGahon .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Vanessa Baker .... adr voice casting
Brendan Donnison .... voice casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ken Crouch .... costume supervisor
Sarah Higbid .... costume buyer
Jane Law .... additional costumes
Stephen Miles .... assistant costume designer
Sophie Norinder .... dresser: Ms. Paltrow
Barbara Ohren .... costumer
Barbara Ohren .... seamstress
 
Editorial Department
Victoria Bate .... second assistant editor
Dale E. Grahn .... color timer
Kevin Holt .... assistant editor
Deborah Kavanagh .... trainee assistant editor
Lea Morement .... assistant editor
Mark Sanger .... first assistant editor
Louise Seymour .... post-production coordinator
Jeff Smithwick .... color timer
Maria Montoreano .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Jonathan Allen .... score mixer
Jonathan Allen .... score recordist
Jean-Pierre Arquie .... music supervisor
John Bell .... orchestrator
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestra contractor
Allan Jenkins .... synthesizer programmer
Gerard McCann .... music editor
Stéphane Moucha .... orchestrator
Kirsty Whalley .... synthesizer programmer
Bruce White .... viola
Gabriel Yared .... music producer
 
Transportation Department
Gary Birmingham .... transportation coordinator
Lee Isgar .... driver: Neil Labute
John Ott .... driver: grip truck
Colin Sheffield .... driver: camera truck
Glen Carroll .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Libbie Barr .... script supervisor
Caroline Chapman .... floor runner
Sonia Coppi .... assistant: Paula Weinstein
Steve Hart .... location manager: additional photography
Richard Hill .... locations runner
Sally Hilton .... assistant: David Barron and Neil LaBute
Claudia Kalindjian .... unit publicist
Linda Labov .... assistant: Paula Weinstein
Barbara McFarlane .... assistant co-production coordinator
Jamie McKay-Haynes .... runner
Lynette Meyer .... design consultant
Duncan Muggoch .... locations unit manager
Zelda Perkins .... assistant: David Barron and Neil LaBute
Holly Perry .... assistant: Mr. Eckhart
Sue Quinn .... location manager
Ashton Radcliffe .... assistant location manager
Vicki Dee Rock .... production executive
Natalie Stevenson .... assistant: Ms. Paltrow (as Natalie Stephenson)
Imogen Stringer .... assistant coordinator
Aurelia Thomas .... location assistant
Tony Tucker .... marine coordinator
Clare Wade .... runner
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for sexuality and some thematic elements
Runtime:
102 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ralph Fiennes was offered the role of Randolph Henry Ash.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Bailey's driving license has 'Miss Maud' on the line for forenames. UK driving licenses don't have titles or Mr/Mrs/Miss on there.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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
PossessoSee more »

FAQ

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20 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
A Totally New Perspective from Neil LaBute, 25 August 2002
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon

A rose by any other name is still a rose; and so it is with love. And whether or not history reflects any of the great love stories of the past accordingly and/or contextually correct, it does not alter the fact of it. The rose of the romance four generations later, for example, may become known as the lily; neither does that alter the fact of what was, nor of what is, all of these decades later, indelibly etched upon the mind's eye of eternity. `Possession,' directed by Neil LaBute, is just such a story, within a story; one the actual passion of which may have been inadvertently diminished, however, through the misinterpretation of the chroniclers who years before set it all down in annals made figuratively of stone, and which, once set, forever after endured. A romantic film of an even more romantic notion, it's a twofold tale of love, the stories of which, though separated by generations, are in the end, in nature one and the same. Because, as this film so richly reveals, love indeed lives eternal, and is borne on the very same flame throughout the ages.

Roland Michell (Aaron Eckhart), an American, is in London on a fellowship researching the life and work of 19th Century poet Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam), poet laureate to Queen Victoria. History recognizes Ash as a dedicated and faithful husband, and his love poems-- purportedly written to or about his wife-- are considered to be among his most noteworthy accomplishments. In the course of his studies, however, Michell happens across some passionate letters written by Ash to a woman; a woman who is, without question, not his wife. And all evidence points to poetess Christabel LaMotte (Jennifer Ehle) as being the receiver of the letters-- and of Ash's affections.

Galvanized by the thought that he may have discovered something that would change history, he seeks out Dr. Maud Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow), currently doing research of her own on LaMotte, in hopes that she will assist him in his quest to uncover the truth about Ash. Initially skeptical, Bailey acquiesces, and together they set out across England, following what appears to be the trail of Ash and LaMotte's movements during what Michell and Bailey calculate to have been the period of the romantic interlude between the poets. And what follows is a journey of discovery for Michell and Bailey; about the tenets of truth, history, and most importantly, about love.

LaBute, Laura Jones and David Henry Hwang wrote the screenplay for this film, adapted from the novel by A.S. Byatt. And for LaBute, known for such films as `Your Friends and Neighbors,' `Nurse Betty' and the scathing `In the Company of Men,' it's an artistic turn of 180 degrees. Absent are the misogynists and narcissists who typically populate his landscapes, replaced by characters the audience can warm to, if not embrace entirely. First and foremost, this is an enthralling love story, made all the more so by LaBute's sensitive and sensible presentation. Visually, it is stunning, as well; Jean-Yves Escoffier's masterful cinematography fully captures the exquisite beauty of the setting, which complements the romance and makes for an entirely transporting experience.

What makes this film altogether satisfying, however, is that LaBute (via Byatt) manages to transcend the dominant romantic aspects of it, interjecting a very subtle consideration of established social precepts and principles, as well. There is a decided sense of Ibsen about it, in attitude, outlook and especially in the suggestion of the `roles' men and women are assigned according to the dictates of `Society,' both then and now. And there is an obvious parallel drawn between the characters of LaMotte and Bailey. Generations later, Bailey has become the person LaMotte aspired to be, and would have been except for the constraints of the times, exemplified by the direction LaMotte's life necessarily had to take, as compared with the options Bailey would enjoy in the same situation today.

The casting of this film could not have been better, beginning with LaBute stalwart Eckhart, who perfectly realizes the character of Michell. Through his performance, he manages to carry the pivotal role of the film, without making his character the focus. Michell is central to the story, but it is not `about' him, though Eckhart does give him something of an enigmatic presence, revealing just enough about him to maintain interest, but no more. Eckhart directs attention to what Michell is doing, rather than who he is, which successfully effects the desired results, and makes the film work.

From the moment she appears on screen, Gwyneth Paltrow is a commanding presence. Her initial entrance is fairly inauspicious, and yet when she steps into the room the eye is automatically drawn to her; it's one of those cinematic ` moments' destined to remain suspended in time. She imbues Maud with a confident reserve which enables her to dominate the scenes she shares with Eckhart, pointing up not only her considerable ability as an actor, but Eckhart's generosity. Beyond all of which, Paltrow has eyes that draw you in like tractor beams.

The players who make this film so emotionally engaging, however, are Jennifer Ehle and Jeremy Northam. With acting souls seemingly tempered for period piece drama, Ehle (`Pride and Prejudice') and Northam (`Wuthering Heights,' `Carrington') make the perfect LaMotte and Ash. In Ehle's Christabel, we discern a character of independence and strength, beneath which lies the romantic nature of the poet; in Northam's Ash we find gentleness and charm, a dreamer who seeks out and finds that which is beautiful and good about the world, the spirit of which he manifests in his work. Their respective performances are elegant, and there is a definite chemistry between them that renders the romance viable and convincing.

The supporting cast includes Trevor Eve (Cropper), Toby Stephens (Fergus), Tom Hickey (Blackadder) and Lena Headey (Christabel's friend). `Possession' is an excursion into new territory for LaBute, and the result is a memorable, transfixing experience for his audience. 10/10.









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Seen the movie, but not read the book? Enter here.... flippetskater
Boring and useless deadraque
If you were to remake and recast who would you pick? hmcconnell
Was Roland Mitchell American in the book? tanyareeves
did i miss something in the end *contains spoiler* please help TheSausageKingOfChicago
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