starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, Jeremy Northam, Jennifer Ehle
screenplay by David Henry Hwang and Laura Jones and Neil LaBute, based on the novel by A.S. Byatt
directed by Neil LaBute
by Walter Chaw There's the seed of an interesting idea in Neil LaBute's Possession--something traceable to A.S. Byatt's melodramatic novel of the same name: the film's one clumsily extended trope that it is about keepsakes and the desire for memento mori and memento amor as it manifests amongst intellectuals. That this seed never germinates, limping along before being crushed beyond recognition by an unforgivable grave-robbing sequence is due to LaBute's icy disconnection (badly misplaced here) and the horrific realization that Possession is two stultifying formulas vying for screentime.