(2003)

Critic Reviews

56

Metascore

Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
Entertainment Weekly
This is the richest role Paltrow has had since ''Shakespeare in Love,'' and she rises to the challenge. She digs deep into Plath's mercurial nature, giving us a Sylvia who's fiercely independent and alive yet burdened with demons of insecurity that bubble up in a rage.
75
Chicago Sun-Times
For those who have read the poets and are curious about their lives, Sylvia provides illustrations for the biographies we carry in our minds.
75
Paltrow's performance in Sylvia doesn't have Oscar- worthy depth, but it's a solid, sincere portrayal that captures enough sides of Plath's complex personality to enrich the movie, directed with impressive visual power by New Zealand filmmaker Christine Jeffs.
75
At heart, Sylvia is constructed as a psychological suspense film framed around the ambiguities of Hughes's infidelity and Plath's resulting paranoia. So at its strangest, the movie is a potboiler.
63
Doesn't shed much light on the fragile and enigmatic writer whose myth has nearly obscured the real woman.
63
Philadelphia Inquirer
Despite an exceptional performance by Paltrow, whose Plath is a layer cake of infinite intelligence and bottomless need, Jeffs' film is an icy affair lacking the fever of Plath's and Hughes' poems.
63
New York Daily News
Paltrow does this role exceptionally well, but it is underwritten.
50
Paltrow looks glam even in death, which only supports the notion, raised by Plath's daughter Frieda Hughes, that the movie would be about a "Sylvia Suicide Doll." Good call.
50
It's a coy, cautious film about a frank, fearless writer.
50
Wall Street Journal
The movie doesn't shed much light on their famously contentious marriage. Instead, it spreads gloom all around.
40
The Hollywood Reporter
This feature glimpse into the Bell Jar is 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.

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