Sylvia is a 2003 romantic comedy film directed by Christine Jeffs and starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig

The film is based on the last part of life (1956-1963) of poet Sylvia Plath and her marriage to poet Ted Hughes.


[hide]*1 Story


Sylvia Plath, daughter of an academic and his much younger wife, writes her first poem at the age of eight. Just after this event her father dies to a neglected diabetes.Sylvia gets increasingly heavy depressions and does a suicide attempt in 1953 when they study at Smith College. She is successfully treated and goes into England to Newnham College, Cambridge studying with a scholarship. In Cambridge she reads in a magazine only poems of Ted Hughes. The two meet and get married in 1956.Plath gets more and more bothered by a writers block while her life is governed by the successful career of Hughes. Frieda is her daughter born In 1962 and two years later her son Nicolas. The marriage of Plath and Hughes is not happy. Hughes is his wife infidelity and he leaves her for Assia Wevill finally her friend. Plath becomes increasingly depressed, but will come back to closing and she writes the poem Ariel, that will be published posthumously. In the winter of 1962 she lives alone with her children in a house in London and touches still further in a downward spiral. In early 1963 she commits suicide to stop by her head in the oven, after they had opened the gas. She was only thirty years old.

Division Of Roles[Edit]Edit

Actor Character Comments
Gwyneth Paltrow Sylvia Plath lead role
Daniel Craig Ted Hughes lead role
Amira Casar Assia Wevill
Blythe Danner Aurelia Plath


The short life of Sylvia Plath was characterized by heavy depressions. Not only in her poems, but also in her only novel The Bell Jar a woman comes forward that can't handle life. In particular, the last part of the film tries to show Plaths life, the period 1956-1963. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Plath as neurotic and insecure woman who is jealous on any woman who copes with her husband. Some critics felt that too little attention was for Plath as poet and that Daniel Craig too much only if adulterous man was put down. The daughter of Plath and Hughes, Frieda, found in any case that the makers of the film abused her mother's memory by putting a cheap thrill movie out of it. She was so upset that she wrote a poem about the film:

  • Now they want to make a movie
  • For anyone lacking the ability
  • To imagine the body, head in oven,
  • Orphaning children [...]
  • [...] they think
  • I should give them my mother's words
  • To fill the mouth of their monster,
  • Their Sylvia Suicide Doll
  • Now they want to make a movie
  • For all those people who miss the ability
  • To the body, the head in the oven to visualize
  • Children to be to make [...]
  • […] They think
  • That I should give them my mother's words
  • In order to fill the mouth of the monster
  • Their Sylvia Zelfmoordpop [...]
  • From: My Mother, in The Book of Mirrors (2003)

There was more criticism of the film. Elizabeth Sigmund, a friend of Plath, was little to talk about the fact that the film shows virtually nothing of the happy moments out there between Plath and Hughes were. She was also upset about a scene in which an angry Plath uitgooit the door after they are her husband infidelity has discovered. According to Sigmund was Plath never as aggressive, even after the infidelity of Hughes. She found that the film's tone is far too dark and Plath drop as just a sick depressed woman, according to her while this was far from the truth.


For the recordings could not use the help of Frieda Hughes, the daughter of Plath (see above) that categorically refused to cooperate to a ' exploitation of her mother's suicide '. They gave no insight into her mother's literary legacy. The film was recorded in London and Cambridge. Female students of the University of Cambridge were hired as extras. In order to remain in the atmosphere of the film stayed Gwyneth Paltrow during the recordings in Q staircase of the Tree Court, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. The real mother of Paltrow, actress Blythe Danner, plays in the film the mother of Plath. It was the first time mother and daughter also in the film mother and daughter played and the second time (after 1991 Cruel Doubt) that they played together in a movie.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.