6.3/10
10,065
100 user 87 critic

Sylvia (2003)

Trailer
2:21 | Trailer
Story of the relationship between poets Edward James "Ted" Hughes (Daniel Craig) and Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow).

Director:

Christine Jeffs

Writer:

John Brownlow (screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Birkin David Birkin ... Morecambe
Alison Bruce ... Elizabeth
Amira Casar ... Assia Wevill
Daniel Craig ... Ted Hughes
Blythe Danner ... Aurelia Plath
Lucy Davenport ... Doreen
Julian Firth ... James Michie
Jeremy Fowlds Jeremy Fowlds ... Mr. Robinson
Michael Gambon ... Professor Thomas
Sarah Guyler ... Ted's Cambridge Girlfriend
Jared Harris ... Al Alvarez
Andrew Havill ... David Wevill
Theresa Healey Theresa Healey ... 3rd Woman at Ted Hughes' Lecture
Liddy Holloway Liddy Holloway ... Martha Bergstrom
Robyn Malcolm ... 1st Woman at Ted Hughes' Lecture
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Storyline

In 1956, aspiring American poet Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) meets fellow poet Edward James "Ted" Hughes (Daniel Craig) 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 ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life was too small to contain her...


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reviewing this 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 herd 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 »

Goofs

When being connected to a call you used to press button A. You only pressed button B when you were unable to get through and that enabled you to get your money back. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sylvia: 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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Connections

Referenced in Becoming Bond (2006) See more »

User Reviews

 
Start From the Beginning.
5 August 2004 | by loveandrevolutionsSee all my reviews

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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Details

Official Sites:

Focus Features

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ted and Sylvia See more »

Filming Locations:

Cornwall, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$58,940, 19 October 2003

Gross USA:

$1,315,498

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,917,393
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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