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POSSESSION

 
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At Theaters: 8/30/2002 On Video: 2/11/2003
Rated: PG-13 Length: 1 hr. 42 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 409957
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
A lushly romantic study of both the transcendent power of language and the seductive nature of literary mystery. In this case, the mystery spirals beyond the past and into the present. Bridging the two eras is the language of love, expressed in grand physical passions yet also at its fullest in the written word.
DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Romantic - This is a double romantic movie (two couples, one present day and one past, fall in love) so it's appeal is going to be to the ladies. The couple in the past are famous poets and the present day couple are literary majors and poets so there is quite a bit of poetry in the movie (another plus for the ladies). The story consists of the present day couple investigating the lives of the two 1850's poets. They discover they were lovers, which is supposed to be some big story. The story shifts back and forth from the past to the present.

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Cast and Crew Heading
Gwyneth Paltrow THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, SHALLOW HAL, BOUNCE, DUETS
Aaron Eckhart THE PLEDGE, ERIN BROCKOVICH, MOLLY
Jeremy Northam HAPPY, TEXAS, AN IDEAL HUSBAND, GLORIA, MIMIC
Jennifer Ehle SUNSHINE
Lena Headey GOSSIP
Wri/Dir: Neil LaBute NURSE BETTY, YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS
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Production Notes Heading
About The Production
About The Casting
About The Look
The Victorian Era
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: 1 S-word, only a few others.
SEX/NUDITY: No nudity. Some rather mild sexual activity.
VIOLENCE: None
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: None
ACTION: None
COMEDY: Around a dozen humorous remarks are made.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Good

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

(Close new window when finished with Full Reviews)

Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Average "Possession, at heart, was a novel about sitting around reading letters, and the epistolary form doesn't translate. The movie is intelligent yet lifeless; it's all wisps and abstractions.''

James Berardinelli, Internet Critic  Full Review
Good "Possession is compelling material, especially for those who believe that the lives and loves of the dead can impact the trajectory of the existences of the living.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Very Good "The film, written by David Henry Hwang, Laura Jones and LaBute, uses a flashback structure to move between the current investigation and the long-ago relationship.''

Newsday  Full Review
Average "A film about poetry and containing very little of it, "Possession" is one of those movies adapted from a beloved novel whose fans can't believe it's been brought to the screen. They turn out to be right."

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 136 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
18
Very High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
6
About 50/50
50%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
14
High
93%
30+Adults (M)
33
High
88%
30+Adults (F)
65
High
97%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

These are some high opinions from all ages, both males and females. It's obvious the majority of moviegoers really enjoyed "Possession." It certainly received better reviews from males than I thought it would. I still believe it's not a movie most guys would enjoy very much. I suspect the previews weeded out the guys that knew it wasn't for them. For females I would say your probability of enjoying "Possession" is high. As for your male companion, you may want to leave him home and take a girlfriend unless he enjoys slow romantic dramas.

Cinema Review Prediction: (before moviegoer opinions are collected)
Ladies this is a movie for you! It has two romantic love stories going at once, one in the past and one in the present. It also has quite a bit of romantic poetry. Unfortunately, these things aren't likely to have your male companion eager to see this movie. "Possession" is probably a movie you ladies will want to take one of your female friends to see. I have no doubt you will enjoy it very much.

As for the guys, I doubt many of you will enjoy "Possession." It consists of two present day people tracking down the lives of two 1850's poets. It has lots of talking and much of it is about romantic poetry. I certainly didn't find "Possession" to be terrible or anything, it was just kind of boring and slow. If you want to earn some major points with your lady friend, take her to see "Possession." She will love you for it and you will only be mildly bored.

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D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Maud Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow), a brilliant English academic given to doing things by the book, is researching the life and work of Victorian poet Christabel LaMotte (Jennifer Ehle). Roland Michell (Aaron Eckhart) is an upstart American scholar in London on a fellowship to study the great Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam). Ash, the poet laureate to Queen Victoria, is now best-known for a collection of rapturous, late-life poems dedicated to his wife that are going on centenary exhibition.

When Maud and Roland discover a cache of love letters that appear to be from Ash to LaMotte, they follow a trail of clues across England to the Continent, echoing the romantic journey of the impassioned couple over a century earlier.

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