When I moved to Albuquerque, I discontinued my Netflix for a few months. Now they insist I buy the streaming before I can get my DVD plan back as well. All my Netflix streaming friends and relatives tell me I don’t need the DVD plan anymore because streaming is so great; but I do not find this to be the case. Of the 33 movies I have listed in my Netflix que for DVDs, only four are available on streaming. Four!! To get access to these movies I would have to pay over 15 dollars a month. So I cancelled my Netflix and signed on with a company called Green Cine. They have more of the older, independent movies and documentaries I want. They don’t have as many as the Netflix DVD library had but they have many more than streaming did and they charge me per movie or a monthly charge of less than $10 a month.
The first movie I rented was the BBC Film Sylvia (2003) with Gwyneth Paltrow as Sylvia Plath and Daniel Craig as Ted Hughes.
I’d recommend this movie for these reasons:
- It seems to be a balanced account of their relationship. No black and white good/bad guy.
- You see Paltrow handle the character arc of Plath, from manic and effervescent to morose and difficult. She’s shown as an imperfect character.
- It’s amusing to see a muscle-set Craig play Ted Hughes. He’s actually very good and brings out the ambivalence of the character. Hughes is in love alright but a rather pathetic and unhelpful partner, especially when the seas get rough.
- Blythe Danner plays Sylvia Plath’s mom, (some fun meta-movie making as Danner is Paltrow’s actual mom).
- The bad guy (Professor Moriarty) from the second 2011 Sherlock Holmes movie is in it: Jared Harris.
- The movie shows Sylvia actually working and her labor in writing, reciting, teaching, grading, getting burned out. You see her typing up manuscripts. The movie covers the frustrations of not only her house-wife-ing but her writing. You see how competitive it was even then to get any sort of book review.
- Lots of poetry gets recited. There are also lots of books in Plath’s house.
- Plath and Hughes listen to vinyl recordings of another poet at a dinner party.
- The movie is visually interesting, both drab and colorful in parts, depending on Plath’s mood. Plenty of good, detail-driven shots, haunting setups and interesting visual themes.