Poet and feminist icon Sylvia Plath famously gassed herself at 30, after a long struggle with mental illness. This biopic explores Sylvia's relationship with her husband and father of her two children, fellow poet Ted Hughes, from their first meeting at Cambridge in 1956...
That Gwyneth Paltrow is being tipped for an Oscar nomination is no surprise, as her take on every girl student's favourite troubled poet, Sylvia Plath, really is quite special.
In Plath's darker moments - of which there are inevitably many - Paltrow excels, giving an emotional performance that captures perfectly Plath's despair and frustration with her own situation, as well as her envy of husband Ted Hughes. While she's stuck at home with the kids, Ted is busy romancing poetry groupies - or so she imagines.
As Sylvia becomes increasingly paranoid and unbalanced, Ted's patience runs out and their destructive, sometimes violent, marriage deteriorates further. Daniel Craig also weighs in with a strong performance as Hughes, whose gruff northern swagger makes him a hit with one too many ladies for Plath's liking.
Though the sketchy narrative could do with a bit of filling out, and the settings could be less gloomy, this is a memorable interpretation that benefits enormously from sound casting decisions.
As dark and depressing as you'd expect, but in a good way.
Reviewed by Jane Howdle