Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Possession Details


In Neil LaBute's film adaptation of A.S. Byatt's Booker Prize-winning 1990 novel, Aaron Eckhart (who has starred in all of LaBute's films) plays Roland Michell, an American academic researcher, working in London, who discovers some important letters written by a famous Victorian poet, Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam Jeremy Northam). Ash was presumed to have been totally devoted to his wife, but Roland finds letters written to another unnamed woman, and soon determines that the intended recipient was another, less well-known poet, Christabel LaMotte (Jennifer Ehle of Jennifer Ehle). Roland contacts Maud Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow), an expert on LaMotte's life and work, who tells him that LaMotte couldn't have had an affair with Ash because she lived most of her life with a female companion, Blanche Glover (Lena Headey), in what was apparently a romantic relationship. Despite Maud's skepticism, the two begin to investigate, and uncover a wealth of information about the affair between the two poets. Period scenes of the illicit relationship between Ash and LaMotte are intercut with the contemporary investigation of the two academics. Roland and Maud initially fight their attraction to each other, but as the pair find more evidence of the historical and tragic romance, they find themselves overcoming their own resistance to romantic entanglement. Possession was kicked around as a film project for a long time before LaBute became interested. Director Sydney Pollack originally was slated to film a screenplay by David Henry Hwang (David Henry Hwang), who receives a credit on the finished film. When LaBute took over the project years later, he reworked the screenplay with Laura Jones (Laura Jones). ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

  • Release date:August 16, 2002


Gwyneth Paltrow
as Maud Bailey
Aaron Eckhart
as Roland Mitchell
Jeremy Northam
as Randolph Henry Ash
Jennifer Ehle
as Christabel LaMotte
Lena Headey
as Blanche Glover
Tom Hickey
as Blackadder
Tom Hollander
as Euan
Holly Aird
as Ellen Ash
Georgia Mackenzie
as Paola
Graham Crowden
as Sir George Bailey
Trevor Eve
as Morton Cropper
Anna Massey
as Lady Bailey
Toby Stephens
as Fergus
Anna Massey
as Lady Bailey
Graham Crowden
as Sir George Bailey
Trevor Eve
as Morton Cropper


Neil LaBute
Paula Weinstein
Barry Levinson
David Henry Hwang
Neil LaBute
A.S. Byatt
Book Author
Laura Jones
Jean-Yves Escoffier
Gabriel Yared
Composer (Music Score)
Claire Simpson
Luciana Arrighi
Production Designer
Paul Ghiradani
Art Director
Andrew Sanders
Supervising Art Director
Stephen Pevner
Stephen Pevner
Executive Producer
Len Amato
Executive Producer
David Barron
Executive Producer
Ian Whittaker
Set Designer
Jenny Beavan
Costume Designer
David Crozier
Sound/Sound Designer
Mary Selway
Guy Tannahill
Line Producer
Mark Auguste
Supervising Sound Editor
Frank Gell
Second Unit Director