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The life of poet and novelist Sylvia Plath -- one of the most celebrated literary figures of her generation -- is brought to the screen in this controversial screen adaptation. Born in Boston, MA, in 1932, Plath (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) developed a precocious talent as a writer and published her first poem when she was only eight years old. That same year, tragedy introduced itself into her life as Plath was forced to confront the unexpected death of her father. In 1950, she began studying at Smith College on a literary scholarship, and while she was an outstanding student, she also began… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A prestige picture that doesn't have a lot going for it beyond its serious intentions."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Falls short of its goal."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"A Hollywood product that exploits sickness."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"Gwyneth Paltrow is a shining star and plays a faultless dramatic role."
‑ Joe Utichi, FilmFocus
"It lacks an incisive viewpoint and keeps us emotionally at arm's length."
‑ Christopher Tookey, Daily Mail [UK]
"Paltrow does this role exceptionally well, but it is underwritten."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"Fails to reflect the enormous complexity of the tumultuous relationship between Ted Hughes and Plath."
‑ Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"Plath might have been the stupid cow that Paltrow plays, the stubbornly ambitious, jealous demonbit genius discontent, immune to the ordinary joys of life."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Paltrow provides the depth that the script lacks, making a lot from very little."
‑ Kent Turner,
"Not the last word on the subject by any means, but it is a solid entry into the canon that sensibly resists beatification or crucifixion of the Ariel poet."
‑ Catharine Tunnacliffe, eye WEEKLY
"Cinema and poetry aren't merely disparate art forms but largely incompatible ones."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"By choosing to make Hughes neither a monster nor sympathetic, the film likely will disappoint Plath acolytes while at the same time falling shy of being a revisionist interpretation of their relationship."
‑ Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle
"Gwyneth Paltrow is anything but engaging in this rarely interesting look at the life of author Sylvia Plath."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"When it's all said and done, Plath had the courage of her convictions, and so does this honest movie."
‑ Thomas Delapa, Boulder Weekly
"Good as Paltrow is, Sylvia reduces an intensely brilliant, haunted writer into a weepy, morose slacker whose overriding concern is where her husband is at all hours."
‑ Stacie Hougland,
More reviews for Sylvia on Rotten Tomatoes