David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang

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David Henry Hwang and Linda Emond Sunday 9th September 2012 attending the premiere after party for 'The Train Driver' at the Signature Theatre

Possession Review


Bad
A.S. Byatt's Booker Award-winning novel Possession might have provided some literary delight, following two academics who track the love letters of a Victorian poet and his free-spirited mistress. That doesn't translate well to cinema, though. Neil LaBute's film adaptation boils down to a buttoned-down Gwyneth Paltrow (sporting her Academy Award winning faux-Brit accent from Shakespeare in Love) and square-jawed Aaron Eckhart running from one Masterpiece Theater location to the next (the library, the moors, the waterfall, the gothic archway, the castle wall, and the moonlit graveyard) all the while reading aloud from the correspondence of dead Englishmen.

While it might make a charming book-on-tape for the Oprah crowd, this "love loves to love love" hokum masquerades as a real movie. The present day academics exist in counterpoint to the period movie flashbacks (basically Jeremy Northam donning his suit again and looking forlorn, intercut with shots of his beautiful mistress Jennifer Ehle looking voluptuous and forlorn). And they talk, talk, talk about subtext within the letters; but they're actually talking about each other. Yes, it's When Harry Met Sally in the Library. So help me God, Eckhart's emotional revelation is when he asks Paltrow, "Is there an Us in You and Me?" (If I were Paltrow, I'd say, "I'll call you.")

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David Henry Hwang Movies

Possession Movie Review

Possession Movie Review

A.S. Byatt's Booker Award-winning novel Possession might have provided some literary delight, following two academics...

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