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It's feel is quite similar to Iris, in that it has an Oxbridge dance near the start, has an informal introduction between the two main characters, and shows (her) mental decline over the subsequent 90 minutes. Some find that unsympathetic and tabloidish, some find it dull, some find it depressing, Plath virgins like myself find it subtle and realistic.
The film for me shows both characters as having faults and inspiration. I read that feminists would not accept any criticism of Plath and blame Hughes for her suicide, but surely such a complex woman deserves responsibility for her actions too, though clearly she has a severe mental illness which, through bitter personal experience, takes an iron clasp to one's emotions and subsequent actions.
There is well crafted tension in the piece, particularly in the dinner scene with their frineds in Devon. All conventions for a quiet English cottage life are taken and then stained with the worst emotion possible to any Englisman - embarressment. The music by Gabriel Yared is, as usual, excellent and wonderfully annotates the film with mood and subtext.
Perhaps it's because I'm uncultured in this area that I didn't have a pre-conception of how the film should be. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe hardly any of it is true to life, but in the end it doesn't matter. This is a movie and in my opinion it delivers.