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 »
The film begins with the time that Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes met, and the trees are shown in autumn colors with falling leaves. However, Sylvia and Ted met in late winter, February of 1956, when the trees would have been bare. See more »
Dying is an art. Like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like Hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call.
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When I rented this movie, I thought it would be about Sylvia's entire life, or at least starting from her days at Smith College. I didn't realize that her marriage with Ted Hughes would be the entire storyline. I think this movie would've been better had they shown more about Plath's life BEFORE Ted Hughes. For people who don't really know much about Plath and her poetry, understanding her life before Hughes would've made the film much more substantial. The audience has to realize that Plath led a very, very hard mental life even before she met Hughes, and her ideas for her poetry and 'The Bell Jar' mostly originated from her bachelorette days. She never recovered from her depression as a young woman and it branched out still as she married Hughes. Without understanding Plath from the beginning hinders the audience from understanding Plath at all.
I feel like the movie only told half the story. Plath's mind was beautiful, colorful, and brilliant. It wasn't just about the jealousy, depression, and paranoia. Putting her works on the back burner really took away most of this movie. I would've liked to see more narration by Plath and giving us an insight into her mind, the way her unabridged journals do. However, I really enjoyed the dialogue of this movie; the lines were poetic and beautiful.
Unfortunately, I am still waiting for a better Sylvia Plath movie. I recommend people to read 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel' before or after seeing this movie though.
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