Cinema: Under Glass

THE BELL JAR

Directed by Larry Peerce

Screenplay by Marjorie Kellogg

According to Woody Allen in Annie Hall, Sylvia Plath was "an interesting poetess whose tragic suicide was misrepresented as romantic by the college-girl mentality." True enough, but the college-girl mentality would be far preferable to the Hollywood intelligence on display in the film version of The Bell Jar. This movie transforms Plath's savagely autobiographical 1963 novel from a psychological nightmare into a kitsch daydream.

Plath's book, set in 1953, is about Esther Greenwood, an overachieving Seven Sisters undergraduate who careers into madness while spending the summer as a guest editor at...

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