Poets on Film: Sylvia (2003), or Sylvia Plath Deserved Better
A better partner, better mental health care, and a much better biopic
Poets on Film is a semi-regular feature of PopPoetry, a poetry and pop culture Substack written by Caitlin Cowan. You can learn more about it here. Check out the archive to see other TV shows, movies, and films whose intersections with poetry I’ve covered. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, subscribe so you won’t miss a post!
The DVD case for Sylvia, the 2003 Sylvia Plath biopic starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig, is sitting on my desk. Plath (Paltrow) appears on it twice, once with her head thrown back, smiling while Ted Hughes (Craig) nuzzles her cheek. Then Plath appears again in a kind of portrait headshot, staring right at you: smaller, mouth open, coiffed.
The endorsement blurb on the front of the case has the words sexy and erotic bolded. Those words come from critic Owen Gleiberman, who said, according to this blurb,
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