This emotionally hollow biopic follows the wrong Plath. In telling the story of troubled poet Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow), the writer's frustrations are illustrated by tearing up sheets of paper. And then, to drive home the point, Paltrow often just stares into space. Director Christine Jeffs tries to balance the Boston-born poet's personal story of depression and creativity with the drama of her volatile marriage to the English poet Ted Hughes.
But when Hughes disappears, the story lags, we gain little new insight into Plath, and we're left waiting for poor, dawdling Sylvia to off herself. Unlike Nicole Kidman, who dissolved into the character of Virginia Woolf in The Hours, Paltrow never lets the audience forget she's acting. About the only thing that might keep you awake is the overwhelming and inappropriately lush score. Feel free to write this one off.