October 17, 2003
This film is based on the real life story of the romance and marriage of American poet/novelist Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) and English poet Ted Hughes (Daniel Craig). Christine Jeffs takes on the directorial duties with John Brownlow handling the writing. Some of you may be familiar with this couple’s rocky road, but here’s a quick rundown.
Plath was born in Boston during the Great Depression. She attended Smith College, which was also the period in which she first attempted suicide (at her mother's home). She received a Fulbright scholarship and traveled to England to attend Cambridge, where she met a dashing young poet, Hughes, who would woo her and ultimately become her husband. Their marriage was rocky and they eventually separated in 1963 when Hughes broke Plath’s heart by falling in love with another woman, Assia Wevill (Amira Casar). Plath attempted suicide again by famously sticking her head in her unlit oven and was successful. Plath is most famous for her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar. Hughes is best known in modern times for his children’s book The Iron Giant, which was turned into a popular animated movie in 1999.
Gwyneth Paltrow has been attached to the starring role for this film for the better part of four years. In an era when actors and actresses go in and out of roles with ease, this is an unusual situation. Like happens with many other “based on a true story” movies, the talk from Plath’s fans has been overall negative. But how can you judge a movie that you haven’t seen? Maybe the filmmakers will prove this crowd wrong. (Marty Doskins/BOP)