- 1 hr 42 min
Possession is a 2002 romantic drama film directed by Neil LaBute, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, and Jeremy Northam. The movie tells the story of two literary scholars, Roland Mitchell (Eckhart) and Maud Bailey (Paltrow), who, during their research, discover the deep love affair between two Victorian poets, Randolph Henry Ash (Northam) and Christabel LaMotte (Jennifer Ehle). While the discovery throws the literary world and their own lives into turmoil, they must race against time and personal demons to uncover the validity of their published works and the hidden secrets of their lives.
The movie is based on the novel "Possession: A Romance" written by A.S. Byatt. The film adaptation successfully captures the essence and complexity of the novel, and portrays a poignant and beautiful love story. The film is a historical romance that seamlessly blends contemporary and period elements. The cinematography, music, and acting are all superb, making this movie an engaging and entertaining experience.
The story revolves around the scholarly pursuits of Roland and Maud, who are working on a research project on the life and works of the Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash. Their work leads them to the discovery of a cache of love letters, which suggest that Ash had a secret love affair with another Victorian poet, Christabel LaMotte.
The two scholars become increasingly obsessed with uncovering the truth about the love affair, and their research takes them on an emotional journey that mirrors the passionate and sometimes painful love that Ash and LaMotte shared. As the academics delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding the poets, their own lives begin to intertwine, and they are forced to confront their own fears and desires.
The film's strength lies in the way it seamlessly weaves together different narratives in different time periods, and the way in which it explores the themes of unrequited love, jealousy, and loss. The interplay between the present-day storyline and the Victorian-era love story adds depth and emotional resonance to the film, making it a compelling and often moving experience.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart deliver powerful performances as the two scholars. Paltrow is mesmerizing as the reserved and intellectual Maud Bailey, while Eckhart shines as the obsessive and somewhat naÃ¯ve Roland Mitchell. Their chemistry is palpable, and their interactions feel genuine and authentic.
Jeremy Northam is equally impressive as the accomplished Victorian poet, Randolph Henry Ash. Northam exudes charm and intelligence as Ash, and his portrayal of the poet is both captivating and nuanced. Jennifer Ehle is also excellent as the Victorian feminist poet, Christabel LaMotte. She imbues her character with a sense of mystery and passion that perfectly complements Northam's performance.
The film's visual style is also noteworthy. The cinematography by Jean-Yves Escoffier is simply stunning, and the film's locations in England are beautifully captured. The score by Gabriel Yared is also noteworthy, adding to the film's emotional impact.
Overall, Possession is a beautifully crafted and emotionally resonant movie that successfully captures the essence of its source material. The film is anchored by strong performances from its cast, a captivating storyline, and stunning visuals. It is an engrossing and memorable experience that is sure to resonate with audiences long after the credits roll.
Possession is a 2002 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 52.