June 16, 2014
Someday, somebody will make a really great movie about Sylvia Plath.
January 13, 2013
Gweneth was amazing in this bio and probably the reason I stuck with it. Very dark, dry in places and sad throughout. Why were all the rooms in every house she lived in painted glossy dark grey? On a plus Daniel Craig gets naked.01/13
August 16, 2013
Should be called Ted and Sylvia. It concentrates more on her marriage than anything else, there is no deviation from them, its almost like Sylvia had no friends always alone. Paltrow I thought was exceptional shame about the script
August 13, 2013
Yes, this movie had some issues. The sound editing was lacking, the music was overly dramatic, and some of the scenes were confusing. However, as a Sylvia Plath fan I found the movie very interesting and it did wonderful job making me care about the main characters. There were certainly some heartrending scenes in this movie that will keep it memorable in my mind.
July 24, 2013
July 16, 2013
Gwenith Paltrow completely carries the film, but when a performance is that good, it's not too horrible of a thing. But in the end, I kind of wish there was more to it.
May 3, 2013
I wish the movie would have shown more of her life, but I do feel it did a good job of showing her poetic side.
December 7, 2012
Would like to get round to seeing!
December 5, 2012
Sylvia: You probably just think I'm some ghastly American bitch, don't you?
Professor Thomas: God no, I thought you were Canadian.
September 23, 2012
This is a remarkable little movie that uses its cinematography to great effect, combining sharp contrasts of light and shadow to underline the isolation of its characters, and some of the most vibrant colors I have ever seen to offset the tragedy of their actions. Those looking for a deep biopic of the late great poet Sylvia Plath will be disappointed, but as a moody piece of melodrama it is generally well-made. The performances are also quite solid; Daniel Craig co-stars as Plath's destructively distant husband and soul mate Edward Hughes, but Gwyneth Paltrow really carries the film as the brilliant but hopelessly depressed poet.
The story follows Sylvia and Ted through the aftermath of their spontaneous relationship, the stifling jealousy and obsessive paranoia resulting from literary recognition, Ted's adultery and Sylvia's eventual progression from angsty nihilism to full-blown suicidal shut-in. We also witness the curious and unexpected effects their decisions have on their family and friends. This is a wise film. It's implied but never implicitly stated that artists might make poor lovers because they sap each other's inspiration, or perhaps one might sap the inspiration from the other, intangibly destroying them from the inside out. I was relieved that the film refrained from overly demonizing Hughes's cruelty but instead portrayed him as a man overreacting to a situation he is unable to cope with.
These people are not insane, they are just really sad. They love each other, but they love the fevered muse of poetry more. It is a crutch they have adapted to face the cruel realities of the world. Sylvia is a devoted, well-meaning woman but her intensely defeatist personality-- born from the death of her father and a failed childhood suicide-- is too much for her husband to bare. It was so sad to see him close himself off in the last part of the movie, denying Sylvia her last chance for emotional support. Both are too busy crafting words to care about pretty concepts like feminism or parenthood. Sylvia contemplates cheating on Hughes as one might consider ordering fast-food, and dismisses the idea just as fleetingly. As romantic poets go the two fall madly in love and take a shot at domesticity out of a sense of ingrained obligation to that love, but as artists they have no choice but to take shelter in their own words when all of it starts to unravel.
Some scenes could have been a little bit longer (I hate it when a movie builds up a series of moments only to fade away seconds later) but there is a lot of ground to cover. The parts involving the generation of poetry are very well done, and the movie never over embellishes them to the point of pretentiousness. Some of the dialogue is just beautiful. I loved Sylvia's many transcendent epiphanies throughout the movie. At one point she confides in dismay to a friend a fact of life that many a drunken Russian novelist discovered long ago: if you dwell too long on your own fear you will make your fear come true. Paltrow is a great actress and some of her expressions, particularly when Edward does something to hurt her, just about broke my heart. The scene at the very end when she knocks on her landlord's door is fascinating.
Many viewers seem to misinterpret this as a "downer" movie because of the depressive states of the characters. But Sylvia's eventual suicide is not the point of the movie. It is established as an inevitability early in the film, and from history. Since we already know the outcome the film doesn't waste our time with false optimism, instead opting for a dread mood that finds inspiration in the character's struggles. Loss and despair spur the artists to action, as most of the best work on the planet is born from pain and fire. I applaud Sylvia for not glossing that over. The scenes of intimacy between the two are exhilarating, not just because Paltrow and Craig are easy on the eyes, but because it is passion born of longing, it is sustenance for the soul.
This one might be a little racy for the classrooms, and as mentioned before the pacing is a little shaky mostly due to the pacing of the scenes themselves. It is however a gorgeously filmed movie and anyone with a mature appreciation for how art imitates life, and vise-versa, should check it out. I knew next to nothing about the two leads going in but emerged with a greater appreciation for their lives and craft.
October 26, 2012
With plenty of time and research, I probably could write a better script. Paltrow did alright. You can tell she loves Plath.
September 9, 2012
A depresing movie. It's a shame that the movie didn't tell much about her works and, instead, was focusing too much on her marriage.
September 3, 2012
One of my favorite poets of all time.
August 16, 2012
Really quite depressing. If you think life is meaningless and want to die, don't watch this film because it will push you over the precipice. Ted Hughes is made to look like a downright dirty dog, while Gwyneth's Sylvia Plath always looks so resigned (and is so whiny). The best part is when Gwyneth recites the gut wrenching 'Daddy'.
July 23, 2012
A really good film. Beautifuly written. It's a tragedy though!
May 26, 2012
About a poet/woman who has very suspicious mind. She fell in love with another poet and they lived happily. But with the time she struggles with her poetry career and she start to suspicious her husband. It took her so far that she can't come back. Ultimately it cost her marriage and her own life. In the end it gives a hint about a successful marriage.
May 11, 2012
feel like paltrow was the wrong choice here and the story was dealt with too lightly
April 28, 2012
Because the script was taken from Hughes' poems, the true nature and depth of his betrayal of Plath may not have been expressed in a way that made Plath a sympathetic a character as she was. The story was told in a very simplistic way about a very complicated relationship and may have been better served by using other sources for the middle portion of the story. I think because the film pretends to be from Plath's point of view but is written form Hughes' point of view, the incongruity is never overcome in the script. As it is, it's a little too much like "Pollack" but without enough interaction between Plath and Hughes in the middle to support the drama of the end. That being said, I thought the acting choices were spot on in all respects.
March 21, 2012
recommended by pinkminkprincess
August 8, 2010
A very tender and dark little biopic that skims the surface of the sensitive and prolific poet and author Sylvia Plath. The film itself was bleak, wounding around the life of Plath, but more than anything also focused on her lover and husband Ted Hughes. Everything is dark angles and gilt mirrors with the poignant performance from lead Gwyneth Paltrow. She is yet again playing a British woman in a destructive relationship, except there is definitely a power play between herself and her husband. Both are poets, both want to be taken seriously, and both have the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. In the film Paltrow showcases Plath's irrelevancy next to her husband's broad fame among the intellectuals and middle class alike. He is dashingly handsome, and ends up romancing many of their female acquaintances, which only drives Plath madder than she already is as a result. Worse, is that he retains the fame whilst she is still struggling to write anything at all. She feels dwarfed in his huge shadow, and the film does a great job of illustrating how isolated Plath was by making her seem small among the darkness of the cinematography. There is little to no light in this entire film. Both Paltrow and her leading man, Daniel Craig, are entirely enshrouded in shadow throughout this film, even when it's supposed to be day. When the sun shines, it's bleak and oppressive,which was highly unrealistic, and gave us the feeling that Plath must have gone through a period of listless hatred, even in the company of her two children. Her erratic behavior lent little in the film, except for the brief scene in the beginning, but she does confide her feelings to an ardent supporter, played by the great character actor Jared Harris. What doesn't work in this film is that there isn't any buildup to Plath's suicide. The ending feels anticlimactic, mostly because her husband isn't assigned any dimensions except that of a vicarious jerk. He flits in and out of the story, only to give her children and make her miserable, but at the end he's only a face in the crowd of onlookers. There was nothing traumatic about this film, nothing to cling to Plath as a person, or the ideals of her work. There just could have been so much more done with the script and the way it was shot, and that really was just underwhelming for me as a viewer.