Critics Consensus

It's perhaps a bit tame and uninspiring, considering its subject matter, but Possession manages enough romance and period intrigue to satisfy most fans of its source material.



Total Count: 157
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Movie Info

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 trail of clues across England to the Continent. As the growing mystery leads them from dusty bookshelves to exotic hideaways and beyond, their adventure, in a very modern way, begins to mirror the romantic journey of Ash and LaMotte, over a century earlier.

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Gwyneth Paltrow
as Maud Bailey
Aaron Eckhart
as Roland Michell
Jeremy Northam
as Randolph Henry Ash
Jennifer Ehle
as Christabel LaMotte
Lena Headey
as Blanche Glover
Holly Aird
as Ellen Ash
Toby Stephens
as Fergus Wolfe
Trevor Eve
as Cropper
Tom Hickey
as Blackadder
Graham Crowden
as Sir George
Anna Massey
as Lady Bailey
Craig Crosbie
as Hildebrand
Christopher Good
as Crabb-Robinson
Victoria Bensted
as Woman in Hotel
Jonty Stephens
as Shop Owner
Alexi Kaye Campbell
as Auction Director
Hugh Simon
as Librarian
Richard Heffer
as Lord Lytton
Felcity Brangan
as Ash's Maid
Holly Earl
as May Bailey
Kate O'Toole
as Mrs. Jameson
Meg Wynn Owen
as Mrs. Lees
Roger Hammond
as Professor Spear
Jeanne Marine
as University Secretary
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News & Interviews for Possession

Critic Reviews for Possession

All Critics (157) | Top Critics (37)

  • Suffocated by its fussy script and uptight characters, this musty adaptation is all the more annoying since it's been packaged and sold back to us by Hollywood.

    Oct 13, 2002 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Russell

    Top Critic
  • For a movie that purports to be about the passions of love and language, Possession is remarkably prim.

    Sep 26, 2002
  • While the film probably won't leave you swooning, it is at least an earnest love letter to its transcendent source.

    Aug 30, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • This is Neil LaBute trying to do Jane Austen, from tone to subject matter to casting. And he's just no good at it.

    Aug 29, 2002 | Rating: 3/5
  • 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.

    Aug 18, 2002 | Rating: C-
  • 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.

    Aug 16, 2002

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