MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

Set in the mid 1950s to early 1960s, this romantic drama is about the tempestuous relationship between Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) and poet laureate Ted Hughes (Daniel Craig). Sylvia, while a student at Newnham College in Cambridge, is intensely drawn to Ted when they meet at a social gathering. Four months later, they marry. Both writers move back and forth across the Atlantic between Massachusetts and England. While Ted enjoys success as a published author and speaker, he also draws the attention of many admiring female readers. Sylvia, while giving birth to and raising two children, writes some of her best work. The film chronicles the beauty and tension of Ted and Sylvias lives together and apart. Their experiences impact and inspire their writing and result in Hughes and Plath becoming two of the greatest writers of the 20th Century.

Sylvia is an art film that will likely appeal to a narrow audience. There is intense beauty in the scenery and videography throughout the film, especially the ocean scenes of Cape Cod. And exquisite instrumental music adds depth to every frame. Sylvia is drawn to extremes in life, walking the line between vibrant life and perilous death in order to gain experience and inspiration for her writing. She openly shares about several suicide attempts and her hunger for fear. When Sylvia is most prolific as a writer, she believes that God is speaking through her. Ted seems more empowered to write through various forms of passion and betrayal. Preview cannot recommend Sylvia because of profanity and nudity, although both elements are tastefully and artistically enfolded into the presentation in order to provide depth and extremes.

Preview Reviewer: Brian Hughes
Focus Features

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (5) times mild (hell 2, damn 1); moderate (bastard 1, bitch 1)

Obscene Language: Several (9) times regular (S-word 2, F-word 3); exclamatory (F-word 4)

Profanity: Many (14) times exclamatory (OMG 1, MG 1, G-sakes 1, G 5, JC 5, C 1)

Violence: Discussion of several forms of suicide, one physical fight between a man and woman which includes the woman slapping the man and the man picking up the woman and slamming her against a wall

Sex: None

Nudity: Male and female nudity (everything except genitalia)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (sensual kissing; intimacy between a man and a woman occurs before marriage, in marriage and in an extramarital affair)

Drugs: Smoking, drinking hard liquor, a pill overdose is considered

Other: Humanistic teaching about life and death

Running Time: 113 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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