Gwyneth Paltrow is Sylvia, a melancholic poet who falls in love with a much better poet called Ted. After a short relation the two get married and move to America where Sylvia was born. While Ted finds America uninspiring, but keeps writing popular books and sometimes giving lectures, Sylvia has no inspiration whatsoever. She getting frustrated about this and being very jealous towards her husband, the two drive eachother apart. While in in first case the ‘problem is solved’ with children, things do not really get better. She again accuses him of cheating on her while originally this was not true, he eventually does so the two break up. Sylvia falls into a deep depression and starts to write pit-black poems that finally get the recognition that she was looking for. Still, with Sylvia herself things do not get better.
An actress with the stature of Paltrow has probably enough films to choose from, but just like for example Cate Blanchett, she plays in both large productions and in small dramas like this one. “Sylvia” is only the second film of Jeffs (born 1963). It may not be the greatest film, but Paltrow proves that she is a great actress and the rest of the cast does well as well. “Sylvia” begins nicely with two people falling in love, but gets darker and darker towards the end. Surely no feel-good film, but not a boring film either.