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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sylvia (2003)

The story of the troubled American poet Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) from 1956 when she meets the poet Ted Hughes (Daniel Craig) who she would marry to her eventual suicide in 1963. Directed by Christine Jeffs, the film bypasses many of the mistakes made by movie bios who attempt to cram an entire life in two hours of film. Instead, it concentrates on an 8 year period focusing in on her relationship with Hughes and the slow deterioration of her psyche. Paltrow is very good here in a subtle performance of a slow descent into madness, no "snake pit" histrionics here. The film could have used more of Plath the writer, we don't get as much sense of the poet and her passion for poetry as we should. Granted that may not be as cinematic as going crazy but it would have helped us understand Plath more. 3 years before becoming James Bond, Craig is in fine form as the poet unable to cope with his wife's illness. There's a nice underscore by Gabriel Yared. With Blythe Danner, Michael Gambon and Jared Harris. 

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