Watching Possession is a bit like hearing a disinterested high-schooler read one of Shakespeare’s sonnets: The words are there, but the passion is missing. Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart both give oddly miscalibrated performances as modern scholars
researching an affair between two historical literary figures, but it’s most likely writer-director Neil LaBute who is responsible for the movie’s detached feel. A specialist in
nihilistic relationship pictures (In the Company of Men, Your Friends & Neighbors), he may be incapable of conjuring up unabashed romance.