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Possession (2002)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 30 August 2002 (USA)
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A pair of literary sleuths unearth the amorous secret of two Victorian poets only to find themselves falling under a passionate spell.

Director:

Neil LaBute

Writers:

A.S. Byatt (novel), David Henry Hwang (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Tom Hickey ... Blackadder
Georgia Mackenzie ... Paola
Tom Hollander ... Euan
Graham Crowden ... Sir George
Anna Massey ... Lady Bailey
Craig Crosbie Craig Crosbie ... Hildebrand
Christopher Good ... Crabb-Robinson
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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 | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 August 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Posesión See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,575,214, 18 August 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,103,647, 13 October 2002
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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 the historic Henry (J. Northam) begins to unthread Christabel's (Jennifer Ehle) corset drawstrings at her back, he pulls each loop free: after then showing from her face forward for over shoulder kiss, shot returns to her back, as he seductively caresses her side and hip - all the corset threads are back to perfectly crossed in place. 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.
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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
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User Reviews

 
A Romance with no Surprises
26 June 2003 | by claudio_carvalhoSee 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")


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