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Movie Details

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Directed By
Neil LaBute

Written By:
Neil LaBute, David Henry Hwang, Laura Jones

Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, Jeremy Northam, Jennifer Ehle, Lena Headey, Toby Stephens, Tom Hickey, Trevor Eve, Tom Hollander, Graham Crowden, Anna Massey, Holly Aird

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Possession (2002)
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Movie Review by Zara
January 24th, 2007

LeBute's best

This movie is NOT for men, a fact that should completely floor most avid movie watchers who know LaBute for being the misogynist that his previous films have painted him out to be. The flick is dripping in old school sentimentality, perhaps the only kind that LaBute could wrap his fists around properly. This isn't a flowery love story despite the flowery language. Most women won't enjoy this movie because there are no overt declarations of undying love. You must read between the lines here, as the character Randolph Ash quite clearly is the fictional parallel to LaBute himself.

Two scholars (Paltrow & Eckhart) go in search of letters written by Ash, a famed poet of the late 1800's and his supposed lover, a woman by the name of Christabel LaMotte who was suspected to be a lesbian. As the two modern day characters discover more about their historical counterparts, a mysterious love story is revealed and a love affair begins to bloom between them. There are other moments in the movie which seem to have been thrown in to give the movie more bite, perhaps a move on behalf of the movie industry and its belief that a film cannot stand on romance alone if the players are speaking with British accents.

I firmly believe that LaBute wants people to understand that he isn't the whole of what his previous works have laid out. He's been known to produce some of the most caustic dialogue between men when discussing their beliefs on women. His visions is unsparing and at times outright vicious when dealing with the fairer sex. POSSESSION revolves around two people finding out that a poet whom all previously known information portrayed him as being a misogynist actually had a heart beneath his bile. And LaBute does. Sometimes love isn't something that can shine out in the sunlight. It is hidden, buried for those industrious enough to go in search for. And when that love is uncovered, it is far more delicious than any that could have been out in the open. POSSESSION is absolutely one of the most romantic pieces that I have seen in a very, very long time and I feel as out of breath as Paltrow and Eckhart did when they stumbled upon a new piece of the puzzle.

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