Since the 1930’s, the Hollywood film industry has produced biographical films (biopics) that characterize the most sensational and renowned writers and poets of literary history. Although the drama of the struggling poet might seem ripe for cinematic exploration, one must question whether illustrating a poet’s life through the medium of film is an indeed felicitous avenue. For example, a plethora of Hollywood films have received brutal critiques due to their incorrect historical portrayal of the poets’ biographies. Furthermore, continuing developments in psychology are recasting the lives and work of many famous poets as intertwined with serious mental disturbances, such as bipolar disorder. Thus, with the contradiction of writers as portrayed on the screen and the continued emerging of evidence of misdiagnosed mental illnesses, it might be valuable for critics to begin to question the problematic depictions of these famed artists. Specifically, this study examines the problematic patterns of the fiction biopic: Sylvia(Sylvia Plath). This leads to speculation about how Hollywood might best script and film an honest biopic that unveils the human condition; and finally applies these ideals to a possible film portraying the poet Anne Sexton.
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"The Celebration of Anne Sexton: Defining the Writers in Hollywood's Biopics,"
Conversations: A Graduate Student Journal of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology: Vol. 1
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.acu.edu/conversations/vol1/iss1/4