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Possession (DVD)

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ITEM# 2855664
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    Possession (DVD)
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    ITEM#: 2855664

    Set in both contemporary and Victorian England, POSSESSION, directed by Neil LaBute, is based on the novel by A.S. Byatt. The tale begins with Roland Michell (Aaron Eckhart), a laid-back American studying the renowned Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam) on a fellowship. When Roland discovers what may be a love letter from Ash, a supposedly devoted husband, to the reclusive poet Christabel LaMotte (Jennifer Ehle), he recognizes that he's on to a big literary discovery. Enlisting the help of skeptical British academic Maud Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow), Roland embarks on journey to discover more about the link between the two revered poets. As Roland and Maud track Ash and LaMotte's elusive romance across the British countryside, the two scholars begin a relationship of their own. Although this film presents a kinder, gentler LaBute--who is known for emotionally caustic movies such as IN THE COMPANY OF MEN and YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS--POSSESSION still focuses on the relationships between men and women with skillful attention. Paltrow reprises her convincing British accent from films such as SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and SLIDING DOORS, while Northam and Ehle lend gravity to their Victorian characters. However, it's Eckhart, a longtime LaBute collaborator, who proves to be the film's heart and soul; his relaxed yet complex personality grounds both the movie and its two intertwined stories. As the two tales progress, the relationships between the characters wax and wane, leading to an ending with a surprising twist.


    UPC 025192240324
    Studio Universal Home Video
    Format DVD
    Genre Drama
    Rating Parental Guidance 13+
    Dimensions 5.5" x 0.5" x 7.75" WxHxD
    Weight 0.22 lbs
    Stars Aaron Eckhart, Toby Stephens, Tom Hollander, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Ehle, Jeremy Northam, Lena Headey
    Directors Neil LaBute, Barry Levinson

    Product Reviews

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    • Possession movie vs book

      I have been a longtime lover of A.S. Byatt's book, so I actually resisted seeing this movie, thinking that there is no way to make a book that is about texts--letters, poems, biographies--into a movie. And a movie starring Gwynneth Paltrow, at that. But this movie is actually very good, Paltrow notwithstanding. The Victorian lovers are played very sensitively, and the subplots there, with each of their spouses so to speak, is handled amazingly well. I actually liked this movie enough to watch it again, months later. While this pales next to the number of times I've read the book, I am surprised that the makers of the film managed to translate to the screen the subtleties and deeper nuances of the connections between these two pairs of lovers. I certainly recommend it to those who love the book, with the caution that no movie is ever as enjoyable as the vast wonderland that is a novel, particularly a novel as exquisite as Byatt's _Possession_, but nevertheless it is well worth watching and enjoying for its own sake. If you happen never to have read the BOOK, though, and if you like love stories with deep psychology involved and stories about the quest for one's own identity, then don't walk, RUN to the nearest bookstore! Read the book first. The hauntingly beautiful suspense throughout the book is worth putting off the movie for a little while; read the book first-- reading it the first time, without knowing the ending, is one of the great experiences of my life. Knowing the ending won't change your experience of the movie, but it will rob you of one of the most compelling reads you will ever know. THEN see this DVD movie. It will be worth the effort, I promise!

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    • Talent abounds

      Neil Labute directs a drama about relationships which is not dark! Possession is about two young academics, who are polar opposites studying a mystery unfolding about two Victorian-era poets. The American is brash with baggage and Gwyneth Paltrow is the slightly cold woman professor, who begin at odds and wind up on an adventure, discovering things about the poets never before known. The poets were a man and a woman, and their relationship is gradually discovered. The director cleverly goes back and forth in time, even within the same scene. It's worth watching the movie a 2nd time, listening to the director's commentary about why Labute made the filming choices he did.

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