Sylvia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sylvia Reviews

November 13, 2003
A prestige picture that doesn't have a lot going for it beyond its serious intentions.
November 6, 2003
Paltrow does this role exceptionally well, but it is underwritten.
November 1, 2003
Cinema and poetry aren't merely disparate art forms but largely incompatible ones.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 31, 2003
Falls short of its goal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 31, 2003
Fails to reflect the enormous complexity of the tumultuous relationship between Ted Hughes and Plath.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 31, 2003
By choosing to make Hughes neither a monster nor sympathetic, the film likely will disappoint Plath acolytes while at the same time falling shy of being a revisionist interpretation of their relationship.
Read More | Original Score: C
October 31, 2003
An often painful, surprisingly illuminating and emotionally complex portrait of a woman who is ultimately as mysterious as her art.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 27, 2003
It's Bleak Chic.
October 24, 2003
Adds precisely nothing of breaking-news value to the Plath-Hughes annals.
October 24, 2003
For all the actors' ability, Sylvia never develops a pulse.
October 24, 2003
Likely to be equally displeasing to Plath enthusiasts as it will be to neophytes, Sylvia suffers from a strange timidity: It only gets close to its subject by rendering her as a kind of melodramatic archetype.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
October 24, 2003
[Lacks] psychological depth and emotional resonance.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 24, 2003
A coy, cautious film about a frank, fearless writer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 24, 2003
The film does what poets so seldom do themselves -- pursue the middle road and leave the path of excess to the less level-headed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 24, 2003
For those who have read the poets and are curious about their lives, Sylvia provides illustrations for the biographies we carry in our minds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 24, 2003
The results are mixed, but noble.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 24, 2003
Jeffs' movie flashes too little poetic lightning of its own.
Read More | Original Score: C+
October 24, 2003
Odd that a story of two such hot-burning lives as Plath and Hughes could leave us so cold.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 23, 2003
Offers a wondrously illuminating artistic experience for its ideal audience -- people like me who know a little but not much about the explosive Plath-Hughes fusion of unbridled poetic temperaments in a tauntingly prosaic world.
October 23, 2003
Paltrow successfully transmits Plath's mental distress and her desperation to shake off a mounting depression.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
October 23, 2003
So suffocating, so lugubrious is the film that Sylvia didn't need to gas herself to death. Jeffs deprives her of oxygen.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 23, 2003
No one expects this to be the feel-good show of the year, but Jeffs' approach is so maudlin that by the end, Plath won't be the only one who's depressed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 23, 2003
Sylvia's emotional moods should swing from red-hot passion to icy rage. Instead, the movie runs the gamut from tepid to lukewarm.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
October 23, 2003
It's a dreary movie about a dreary character, offering little insight into her poetry or the mental illness that ultimately conquered her.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 22, 2003
... more or less take the Hughes line, evoking, through testy dialogue and alternately claustrophobic and idyllic mise en scene, the continuing challenge, and occasional delirium, of marriage to a brilliant manic-depressive.
October 22, 2003
It's a little surprising that Sylvia is so conventional, considering that Plath, whatever you think of her work or her life story, openly defied plenty of the '50s conventions.
October 17, 2003
A standard melodrama that takes its grim tragedy and encases it in a veneer of self-conscious artsyness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 17, 2003
One of the fiercest love stories of the last century is reduced to Star Is Born pap.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 17, 2003
Paltrow is clearly committed to plumbing the depths of Plath's suffering, but this frigid and inaccessible period piece wears its glumness like a shroud.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 16, 2003
The lead performances lift the film above melodrama, but they also expose the glaring holes in the screenplay.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 16, 2003
It is Plath's writing that represents ... her surest claim on our attention. The makers of Sylvia may, to some degree, have neglected this brilliant, unsettling and tragically foreshortened body of work, but they have not betrayed it.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
October 16, 2003
Aside from Paltrow's performance, Sylvia is neither a film so spectacular it shouldn't be missed nor something so tepid you have to stay away.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
October 16, 2003
An aerial view, so to speak, of the 20th century's great literary soap.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 16, 2003
This is the richest role Paltrow has had since Shakespeare in Love, and she rises to the challenge.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
October 14, 2003
Ridden with the ankle-spraining lawn divots of the biopic.
October 3, 2003
An exercise in drudgery, with nothing particularly insightful or revealing to say about the charter member of the Suicidal Poets Society and the artistic endeavor in which she would make her indelible mark.