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Roland Michell is an upstart American scholar in London on a fellowship to study the great Randolph Henry Ash. Ash is best known for the rapturous poems he dedicated to his wife, and is currently the subject of a major exhibition. Maud Bailey is a brilliant, by-the-book academic, researching the life and work of the lesser-known Victorian poet Christabel LaMotte. As the history books tell it, La Motte met Ash briefly at a dinner, and they never encountered each other again. When Maud and Roland discover a cache of love letters that appear to link the two poets as secret lovers, they follow the… 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