Synopsis: Roland Michell is an American scholar trying to make it in the difficult world of British Academia. He has yet to break out from under his mentor's shadow until he finds a pair of love letters that once belonged to one of his idols, a famous Victorian poet. Michell, after some sleuthing, narrows down the suspects to a woman not his wife, another well known Victorian poet. Roland enlists the aid of a Dr. Maud Bailey, an expert on the life of the woman in question. Together they piece together the story of a forbidden love affair, and discover one of their own. They also find themselves in a battle to hold on to their discovery before it falls into the hands of their rival, Fergus Wolfe.
Director(s): Neil LaBute
Production: USA Films
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min

[Birds Chirping]

[Man] | They say that women change.

'Tis so,

but you are ever-constant | in your changefulness.

Like that still thread | of falling river,

one from source to last embrace | in the still pool.

Ever-anewed | and ever-moving on.

From first to last. | " From first to last,

a myriad water drops. | "a myriad water drops.

"And you... | I love you for it...

are the force that moves | and holds the form."

Now, ladies and gentlemen, | you've just heard a snippet...

from one of only two copies | of this poem...

by Mr. Randolph Henry Ash,

poet laureate | to Queen Victoria herself.

And this gorgeous ode | to his nuptial bliss,

written in his own hand, | begins our bidding today.

May we start the bidding | please at L40,000.

- Bit of an old monster. | - Yeah.

But an important monster. | It's Randolph Ash's.

Yes. Who are you | with again?

I'm, uh, Roland Michell. | Who?

- Professor Blackadder's | research assistant. | - Isn't that Dr. Wolfe?

Was. Fergus got the lectureship | at SaintJohn's... over me.

Of course he did. | Oh, yes, Dr. Wolfe | mentioned you.

You're that American | who's over here.

[Chuckles] | Well, I'm sure | there are others.

I mean, after all, | you are our favorite colony.

[Man] | L10,000. Any further | offers on L10,000?


So when do your little | suffragist trinkets | come up for the...

Look, Maud, | it's Mortimer Cropper.

[Maud] | Oh, yes. That's someone | you should know.

- You know him? | - Of him.

Suffered through | a lecture or two. | That sort of thing. | Really.

Mm-hmm. | He's a voracious collector | from what I hear.

Yes. His penchant | for conquests | is well documented.

It's | a very male quality. | Mm.

I know it's vulgar, | but I have to introduce myself.

Oh, all right.

Oh, uh... Damn. | Let's begin the bidding | please at L4,000.

L4,000. L4,000. | Excuse me. Sorry.

L4,500. | Um, Professor Cropper, | Fergus Wolfe.

Um, we spoke actually | after one of your papers | at, uh, at Trinity.

You wouldn't remember. | I'm sorry, I don't. | Nice coat though.

Oh, thank you. | Uh, James Blackadder. | You're with?

Ah, you're one of | Blackadder's boys | from the British Museum.

Hello. | Hildebrand Ash,

man of leisure. | Oh, hello.

[Cropper] | I don't know why Blackadder | comes to these things.

[Chuckles] | He hasn't got any money.

Well, he's Irish, you see. | He enjoys feeling persecuted.

[Randolph's Voice] | Dear Madame: :

Since our pleasant conversation, | I have thought oflittle else.

I write with a strong sense | of the necessity...

of continuing our talk.

Dear Madame:
: | I know that you came only | to honor Crabb-Robinson...

at his small, | informal party...

because he had been | of assistance | to your illustrious father.

Excuse me, sir.

Meal is served.

Thank you.

- Well, hello. | - Hello.

Ah, my tenant. | Your evening sherry.

Thank you.

Candy, this is Roland. | Roland, Candy.

- Hello again. | - Be a love | and check on the duck, eh?

- Okay. | - So, coming in?

So how do you | always know it's me?

I'm a solicitor. | I know everything.

Candy, huh? | Oh, no, no, no, | please.

Candy's just a friend. | Why, are you interested?

I told you | I'm off women. | Yeah, but...

it isn't a reason | to be off women.

Why do we always | sit in your hall?

'Cause it's the best room | in the house, really. I bought | this place for the hallway.

So, I found something today | I think is pretty incredible | in the London Library.

- A place to sit. | - No.

I found something of Ash's. | You know Randolph Ash?

Ash. Oh, doesn't he have | some sort of celebration going?

It's the centenary | of his love poems. | Terribly mushy ones.

Found after his death | or something, weren't they?

Is the table laid, | darling?

Listen. | What's it cost an hour?

No, no, Candy's a friend | I told you.

Not her, you. | What do you charge an hour, | roughly?

Oh, uh, I don't know. | Five hundred.

- Pounds? | - Mm-hmm.

- Jesus, no wonder | you have a nice hallway. | - Thank you.

Okay, I wanna buy seven minutes | of attorney/ client privilege | right now.

Step into my office.

Ash wrote those. | They're not the originals.

- Yeah. | - Oh, my God.

How much time we got left? | I've got to think of | a defense for you.

They're practically | love letters.

Well, they're racy, | actually. | See, Ash...

supposedly never even looked | at another woman.

I mean, not even glanced at one | his entire marriage.

Can you imagine | what would happen | if I could prove...

that Mr. Perfect Husband had | this, like, Shakespearean-type | dark lady thing going?

Darling, the duck's done.

Would you be a sweetheart | and do the sauce?

Yes, yes.

- Duck, huh? | - Yeah, Peking.

- It's from around the corner. | - [Snickers]

Yeah, but that | would be extraordinary.

It would be rewriting | history, old chap.

Yeah, it would be.

[People Chattering]

Morning. | Morning.

Roland. | Professor.

I think | I made a discovery.

It'll turn out to have been | discovered 20 times already.

- I don't think so. | - Surprise me.

Ash's copy of Vico | in the London Library.

It's full of his own notes | on loose bits of paper | all the way through.

- Useful? | - Very.

Better have a look. | See what's what before...

people turn up | with his checkbook. | I also found... Professor.

They made a mockery | over at Sotheby's yesterday. | L1900 for a toothpick.

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David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang (simplified Chinese: 黄哲伦; traditional Chinese: 黃哲倫; pinyin: Huáng Zhélún; born August 11, 1957) is an American playwright, librettist, screenwriter, and theater professor. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Possession" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Apr. 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/possession_16116>.

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