Sylvia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sylvia Reviews

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½ 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!
½ 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
½ 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
Super Reviewer
½ March 9, 2012
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.
January 14, 2012
This is a brilliant performance from Gwyneth Paltrow. Unfortunately, that's the only positive thing I can say about this movie. It's very bland, dry and depressing. I guess that shouldn't come as a shock since it's about the life of Sylvia Plath, but I've just never been able to imagine what appeal she held for anyone. Points for great acting, but this is painful to watch.
½ December 24, 2011
I definitely would have liked a little more background (Plath's early years, time at Mademoiselle, mental institute, etc); otherwise, a very solid (albeit grim) study of Plath and Hughes.
December 6, 2011
Didn't hold my attention.
December 4, 2011
dark. Paltrow did a good job but the movie didn't interest me.
November 19, 2011
What a tragic, but awesome movie. Glad finally got to see it.
½ November 18, 2011
Gwynwth Paltrow's portrayal of Sylvia Plath is flat and fails elicit a significant emotional response appropriate for a bio-pic about a depressed artist that commits suicide. I never so much as shed a tear or felt any empathy towards the character. This film lacks depth and dimension.
October 10, 2011
interesting bio-pic about plath and good early effort from the future 007 daniel craig.
½ October 10, 2011
A little disppointing for fans of sylvia plath. Still worth the watch though.
October 5, 2011
I feel like this didn't capture Sylvia Plath like I had hoped. Paltrow made Plath seem so boring. Anyways, If you want to watch this and use it for helping you with your report on "The Bell Jar" it is really helpful.
October 3, 2011
I revisited this Film about one of the Most Celebrated Poetess's of the 20th Century,Sylvia Plath. I have to say this was even better than it was the first time I saw it.Quite often with such Artistic Genius there is a troubled, Tortured Sole that feeds the Artistic Talent, & often leads to their Demise at their own hand.They didn't know about the complexities,& treatment, or even that it was Manic Depressive/Bio Polar Disorder back in the 1950's.Her Writing is Darkly Poignant, as was her life, so brilliantly portrayed by the Uber Talented Gwyneth Paltrow.Her Manic behavior made it nearly impossible to live with a person of such Jealousy & Mood Swings for her Husband(Daniel Craig), who wasn't exactly an innocent victim either,he cheated .You can't help by feel deeply for what her Children must have endured & wish they would have delved a bit more into that.A bit slow at times, but quite Beautiful, especially to those of us who Love her Poetry & feel the need to know the depths of where it came from
October 2, 2011
recommended by pinkminkprincess
September 29, 2011
I have started a Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health studies and part of our study module is depression. We were asked to read 'Lady Lazarus' by Sylvia Plath, an American poet of whom I am familiar with from my formal academic studies in years yonder. From a mental health analysis point of view, 'Lady Lazarus' is a raw, dark, eirily prophetic poem about anger, pain and the want to die. From an interest point of view myself and a study colleage decided to rent and watch 'Sylvia'...did this slip under the radar? Was this ignored by the Academy or did it not fit into their vein of 'crazy characters' (note the majority of Oscar wins are mentally maladjusted persons, be it the psychotic - Silence of the Lambs, to the delusional - Black Swan)? I dont know, but then 2003 was a long time ago. All I can view from and indeed rate from is a viewer's point of view. I tried to not come into the movie with prejudices or preconceptions, having already an existing background knowledge of the person Sylvia and the dark depressive path that she walked to her suicide. The movie Sylvia is more interested in Sylvia Plath's relationship with Ted Hughes, and how her instabiility, secludion and insecurity, coupled with his infedility, pushed her over the tipping point. The leads are actually very good. Gwyneth Paltrow embraces the role of Sylvia and makes it her own. It says alot about the Academies that they praise 'Shakespeare in Love' (don't get me started on that, please don't) and not this...but thats a separate matter. Daniel Craig also as Ted Hughes, plays the strained but ultimately unfaithful poet very convincingly. The film starts warmly, with the obvious colourful pastels of blues and yellows, and finishes in a hazy, brown and grey miriade, mirrored by the final veil of the gas oven suicide. I will not lie, this is not comfortable viewing, but from an academic point of view, this is essential viewing. We were posed with the question of: given Sylvia as a patient, could you save her? In her darkest hour I would like to think that I could have saved her. Unfortunately the fate of the poet was never one of salvation.
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