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In Neil LaBute's film adaptation of A.S. Byatt's Booker Prize-winning 1990 novel, Aaron Eckhart (who has starred in all of LaBute's films) plays Roland Michell, an American academic researcher, working in London, who discovers some important letters written by a famous Victorian poet, Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam [Gosford Park]). Ash was presumed to have been totally devoted to his wife, but Roland finds letters written to another unnamed woman, and soon determines that the intended recipient was another, less well-known poet, Christabel LaMotte (Jennifer Ehle of Sunshine).… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"For a movie that purports to be about the passions of love and language, Possession is remarkably prim."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Just about everything in this dry bit of business seems limp, building toward a poorly staged scene in a graveyard, which could be just where this slumbering bit of folly will land."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
"Glossy romance with pretty people."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart lead the cast, but their performances as modern characters rank second to Jeremy Northam and Jennifer Ehle."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"A sumptuous, century-spanning romantic epic ... in other words, the last thing you'd expect from Neil LaBute"
‑ Nick Rogers, State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
"While the film probably won't leave you swooning, it is at least an earnest love letter to its transcendent source."
‑ Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"What's supposed to be a deep examination of the transcendence of love and art and poetry turns into another shallow film about how repressed the British are."
‑ Eric Brace, Washington Post
"A film like this rides on the quality of the acting, and the Brits -- Northam and Ehle -- invest their forbidden love with centuries of fine repressed English tradition."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"... LaBute shows he doesn't have to be mean-spirited to be an effective filmmaker."
‑ Greg Maki, Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
"Possession should be a rapturous, romantic film about an ancient passion so intense that it transcends historical boundaries. It should be, but it isn't."
‑ John R. McEwen, Film Quips Online
"This is Neil LaBute trying to do Jane Austen, from tone to subject matter to casting. And he's just no good at it."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Possession, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"We are led to smile nostalgically about this extramarital affair, not to contemplate the cost of unfaithfulness."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"A idéia do amor trágico soa romântica para estes casais, o que é curioso. Mas, no geral, o filme é extremamente enfadonho."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Both a detective story and a romance spiced with the intrigue of academic skullduggery and politics."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
More reviews for Possession on Rotten Tomatoes