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Possession 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars (42) IMDb 6.4/10

A Yank at Oxford University, Roland comes across a lost letter by a Victorian writer Randolph Ash. It suggests he was infatuated with Christabel LaMotte, a poet and lesbian icon. He enlists the aid of Maud, a relative of Christabel to pursue this love affair but modern life starts to mirror the Victorian...

Starring:
Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart
Runtime:
1 hour, 38 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Neil LaBute
Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart
Supporting actors Jeremy Northam, Jennifer Ehle, Lena Headey, Holly Aird
Studio Warner Bros.
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You will not be disappointed with either the book by A S Byatt (over 500 pages) or the DVD/Video. Although the film adaptation differs in several places from the book, which should be read first, you will be moved by both. The cinematography and the acting are both excellent: a look at the cast list will confirm the depth of acting ability. The changes in time in the film from 1859 to the present day, and back again, are simple and magnificent. The direction of this film is first class. The use of real UK locations, particularly Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, will appeal to the well-travelled viewer. You cannot fail to be moved by this historical and romantic drama.
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Format: VHS Tape
For me this is one of those magical films that make one bless the invention of the cinema and its present day era of complete artistic achievement and competence. Beautifully photographed using enchanting settings (Lincoln has never looked more lovely) and with a music soundtrack that perfectly underlines the romantic story within a story and the growing attraction to each other by the present day principals, an English professor played by Gwyneth Paltrow (with a beautifully modulated English accent) and an American research student in London winningly played by Aaron Eckhart. Paltrow and Eckhart who are trying to discover whether a 19th Century Poet Laureate had an illicit affair with a female poet when all the historic evidence points otherwise. The way the mystery unravels is heartrendingly romantic and as the poets, Jeremy Northam and Jennifer Ehle are perfectly cast. Captivated, I didn't want the film to end but at least was compensated by the beautifully sung tenor aria that floated out over the final credits. English or Anglo-American cinema at its very very best. A film of the highest quality and one I am grateful to own and be able to play over and over again.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can't understand why this didn't do better on its cinematic release. True, I'd read the book and contrary to all expectation (having found previous Byatts pretentious and turgid) greatly enjoyed it, so I may have been biased. But even making allowances for a natural partiality I still think this is an excellent adaptation and an eminently watchable film with a stellar cast. Moving, at times tragic, ultimately redemptive, all of that... Maybe the problem is that no-one turns into a half-naked blue superhero at any point...
The adaptation really is splended, and the cast act their socks off. True, they are all infinitely better-looking than any academic I've ever met (I would have pursued English Lit beyond postgrad level if it had been populated by lecturers, even caddish and sneaky lecturers, who resembled Toby Stephens), and I can only imagine that the reason underlying Aaron Eckhardt's poor career progress is that he must have been spending so much time in the gym, rather than the library. They also live in beautiful houses, and cinematographically the film is a delight. But above all the story - which still, despite its compression from a huge doorstop of a discursive narrative to a fairly short film, manages to retain at least vestiges of the debate about, as Maud Bailey puts it, the awful things that men and women do to each other - remains a glorious detective story through the windings of love, literature and some very unethical antics in libraries.
Loved it.
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Format: DVD
'possession' is the tender trap, a tonic for a lovesick mind.
i watched 'possession' time and time again at the cinema; head up, front row. i will watch the DVD whenever i can; it is a privelege to be able to own a copy.
since the cast and the screenplay are so fatefully interlinked, i shall say, in my view the casting was superb. jeremy northam has all the qualities of a respectable poet laureate, and the sexual appeal to match that of jennifer ehle, his leading lady.
aaron ekhart has been much maligned as not being the equal of gwyneth paltrow. i simply dismiss that sort of talk. the point of mr ekhart's character is that he feels inferior, to be looked down on by maud bailey (paltrow) and this is the impression the viewer recieves, from the first images of roland mitchell (ekhart) working studiously, to the dramatic realisation of maud bailey's ancestory. the decision to alter the character from a working-class englishman (in a.s byatt's novel) to an american perhaps makes the inferiority of roland mitchell less obvious to the british audience who would instantly understand the relationship between different social classes.
the film is split across two generations; but they are seamlessly linked. Neil LaBute's film is a triumph, the beauty of which shall be revered for many generations to come.
it is a 'feel-good' film, to make one long for love.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I thought "Possession" was a beautifully created piece of Cinema escapism.
The acting was superb, scenery spectacular and the music haunting.
Thoroughly recommend the DVD presentation. Value for money.
A shame it was not more widely available on the cinema circuit.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD without ever having read the book or, indeed, any of the Amazon reviews - purely because it starred Jeremy Northam. He is an actor whom I have admired for some time.
I was not disappointed. It is a brilliant film - passionate, gentle and intriguing. It is well cast - even the usually wooden Trevor Eve turned in a creditable performance. It is one I shall enjoy watching many times and would certain recommend.
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