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
Reviewing the movie for the BBC, poet Ian McMillan was particularly scathing about the scene where the young Plath and Hughes, boating down a river, recite Chaucer to a group of cows, calling it "A caricature of a poet's life". In fact, this incident is attested to in various biographies of Plath. See more »
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.
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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.
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