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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.
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
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
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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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
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.''
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.''
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.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
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.
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
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.