POSSESSION (2000) Adapted from the 1990 novel by A.S. Byatt, "Possession" marks a radical departure for director-coscreenwriter Neil LaBute ("In the Company of Men"). Unlike his usual…
Video Review

POSSESSION (2000)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
EW's GRADE
C

Details Release Date: May 09, 2000; Movie Rated: PG-13; With: Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill

Adapted from the 1990 novel by A.S. Byatt, ''Possession'' marks a radical departure for director-coscreenwriter Neil LaBute (''In the Company of Men''). Unlike his usual battles of the sexes, this is a tale of two parallel romances: Paltrow and Eckhart play scholars who piece together a secret 19th-century affair between a famous, married poet (Jeremy Northam) and a beautiful lesser-known bisexual poet (Jennifer Ehle). Thanks to the dashing Northam and the luminous Ehle, the Victorian lovers prove to be far more interesting than the contemporary duo of Eckhart and Paltrow (in yet another upper-crusty British role). LaBute and his attractive leads try their hardest to make literary sleuthing sexy, but ''Possession'' still feels a bit musty.

Originally posted Feb 14, 2003 Published in issue #695 Feb 14, 2003 Order article reprints