Director: Christine Jeffs

Gwyneth Paltrow stars as infamous, tragic poetess Sylvia Plath in her best performance to date. The film, chronicling young Plath’s whirlwind meeting, courtship and marriage to poet Ted Hughes up through the end of her life is a gloomy movie to be sure but one that still manages to engage audiences thanks to the performances, intelligent screenplay and willingness of the director not to let Plath become a martyr. She shows the woman as she was—-complicated, brilliant, fascinating and certainly doomed for death and although feminists and fans alike point to Hughes as the reason for her demise, Jeffs never lets audiences forget that Plath was already deeply troubled before the two ever laid eyes on one another. While the moments of passionate poetry sizzle off the screen, viewers hoping for a more literary autobiography will be a tad disappointed by the film’s brief mention of “The Bell Jar” and terse references to some of her most famous poems, however Paltrow manages to deliver “Daddy” with such force that it is almost literally breathtaking.