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 Sylvia’s 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. Dove cannot award The Dove Seal to Sylvia because of profanity and nudity, although both elements are tastefully and artistically enfolded into the presentation in order to provide depth and extremes.