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Sylvia | 2003 | R | - 7.4.5

Gwyneth Paltrow stars in this biopic about the romance and marriage of suicidal American poet/novelist Sylvia Plath and English poet Ted Hughes (Daniel Craig). Receiving a Fulbright scholarship, Plath traveled to England in the '50s to attend Cambridge University, where she met and married Hughes. Separated soon after, Hughes' infidelity caused Plath to kill herself by sticking her head in an unlit oven. Also with Lucy Davenport, Jared Harris and Blythe Danner. Directed by Christine Jeffs. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man and a woman kiss, we see them nude on a couch with her seated on top of him, they thrust and kiss (we see her bare buttocks, part of her bare breast and part of her pubic region) and we see them lying nude caressing each other. We also see her sitting nude on the couch exposing her bare breasts. A nude man and a woman kiss in bed: the woman lies on top of the man (we see her bare buttocks and part of her bare breast), they kiss, they roll over and we see the man's bare buttocks and back. A man and a woman kiss passionately, they lean against a wall, the woman wraps her legs around the man's waist, he thrusts and they moan. A man and a woman dance together, they kiss passionately, the man kisses the woman's neck and she bites his cheek (we see blood on his face). A man and a woman in swimsuits kiss and hug and the woman wraps her legs around the man's waist. A man and a woman kiss several times. Women flirt with a man in several scenes. A man kisses a dead woman on the head. A woman says to a man, "I'm thinking of taking a lover" and they look at each other for an extended period (he seems to understand that she is suggesting that she is considering him). A woman wears a lace covered nightgown. We see two nude babies -- one newborn (we see buttocks), the other being bathed (we see his penis).


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - We see people barging into an apartment where a woman has committed suicide and they take out two young children. A woman slaps a man in the face, the man shoves the woman against a wall, squeezes her face and pounds on the wall next to her. A woman describes numerous ways that she has tried but failed to commit suicide (by sleeping pills, by drowning). We see the outline of a dead body covered by a blanket on a stretcher being placed in an ambulance and we see a dead woman's face. We hear that a woman's cheek was torn on cement when she was dragged out from a hiding place in a basement (she has a scar). We hear a recording of a written work talking about a corpse.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 7 F-words, 3 scatological terms, 9 mild obscenities, 14 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People are seen smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death, suicide, poetry, jealousy, infidelity, disappointment, betrayal, despair, parental disapproval, writer's block, self-doubt, self-fulfilling prophecies.

MESSAGE - If you fear something enough, the fear itself can bring it about. Some people may be congenitally suicidal.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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