Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Set in the present day, this is the story of two poetry scholars (Eckhart, Paltrow) who discover that the subjects of their studies were secret lovers. As they research the mysterious relationship, they develop a romance of their own.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. 90
    LaBute, in his infinite and marvelous wrongness, infuses his movie with a delicacy of feeling that couldn't be more right for the material. LaBute obviously approached the project with his hands and his heart open: Frame by frame, it's a humble picture, a movie that isn't afraid to be an entertainment.
  2. 75
    A lush, genteel romance of the Merchant-Ivory school that qualifies as a guilty pleasure -- largely because of the unexpected chemistry between its improbably matched leads, Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart.
  3. Possession needs a sharp eye, a wicked tongue, less reverence and much more of its author's voice.
  4. 50
    The cold distance that LaBute brings to the material keeps the viewer at arms' length.
  5. The real problem isn't with the actors, it's with 1) the source material, a highfalutin romance novel with a clever literary conceit, and 2) LaBute's clumsy, uncomfortable efforts to telescope Byatt's book into a workable movie.
  6. The movie is intelligent yet lifeless; it's all wisps and abstractions.
  7. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9