Sylvia (2003)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  31 October 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 8,639 users   Metascore: 56/100
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Story of the relationship between the poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Birkin ...
Alison Bruce ...
Assia Wevill
James Michie
Jeremy Fowlds ...
Mr. Robinson
Professor Thomas
Ted's Cambridge Girlfriend
David Wevill
Theresa Healey ...
3rd Woman at Ted Hughes' Lecture
Liddy Holloway ...
Martha Bergstrom
1st Woman at Ted Hughes' Lecture


In 1956, aspiring American poet Sylvia Plath meets fellow poet Edward Ted Hughes at Cambridge, where she is studying. Enthralled with the genius of his writing, Sylvia falls in love with him even before meeting him, and he quickly falls in love with her. They eventually marry. Sylvia quickly learns that others are also enthralled with her husband, for a combination of his good looks, charisma, fame and success. Sylvia lives in her husband's professional shadow as she tries to eke out her own writing career, which doesn't come as naturally to her as it does to Ted. She also suspects him of chronic infidelity. Both issues affect Sylvia's already fragile emotional state, she who once tried to commit suicide earlier in her life. Through her pain and her anger, she does gain minor success as a writer, with a completed semi-autobiographical novel and a few well received collection of poems. Following, she tries to regain some happiness in her life with Ted, but has an alternate plan if that... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Life was too small to contain her...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

31 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ted and Sylvia  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$58,940 (USA) (17 October 2003)


$12,583 (Hong Kong) (25 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Most of the extras in the opening scenes in Cambridge were, like Sylvia Plath herself, students of the University of Cambridge. See more »


Ted Hughes is already wearing a band on his left ring finger when he asks Sylvia Plath to marry him. See more »


[first lines]
Sylvia: Sometimes I dream the tree, and the tree is my life. One branch is the man I shall marry, and the leaves my children. Another branch is my future as a writer, and each leaf is a poem. Another branch is a good academic career. But as I sit there trying to choose, the leaves bring to turn brown and blow away, until the tree is absolutely bare.
See more »


Referenced in Becoming Bond (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Prettified and superficial biography
20 December 2004 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Rather dull and uninspired biography, even though Gwyneth does a good performance, she's unable to save a biography which probably will make your own life look exciting - Sylvia Plath is portrayed as not much more than a quite ordinary housewife that is cheated on over several years. The affairs of her husband Ted takes its toll, of course, and quite predictably drives her paranoia, but really; this is not film material. Ted Hughes comes across as a lame, rather brutal husband with little understanding of Sylvias troubled mind. Their story is told very straightforward and linear, probably wrong since there is very little story to begin with. A more adventurous structure, with glimpses of childhood, early years, etc might have added much needed lyricism to this lackluster project.

27 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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frieda hughes: 'mother' a poem about the film. blue_stripy_moose
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