- 1 hr 47 min
In the movie Shirley, Elisabeth Moss plays the renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson. The film is set in the 1950s and portrays Shirley as a reclusive and somewhat tempestuous character, battling with alcoholism and struggling to write her next novel. Shirley's husband Stanley Hyman, played by Michael Stuhlbarg, is a literary critic and professor at Bennington College. The couple live in a dark and eerie house in Vermont, where they invite a young couple, Fred and Rose, played by Logan Lerman and Odessa Young, to live with them. While the plot revolves around Shirley's struggle to write her next novel, the film explores much deeper themes like feminism, jealousy and control. In the beginning, Shirley is critical and dismissive of Rose, but as the plot unfolds, we see the two characters form a peculiar friendship. Moss' impressive portrayal of Shirley is a nuanced and complex one, and at times, we see a vulnerable and soft side to the character, which is a departure from the cold and standoffish persona she has initially. The film, directed by Josephine Decker, is based on the novel, Shirley by Susan Scarf Merrell. The director's use of light, color and sound is masterful in creating an unsettling and haunting atmosphere that permeates throughout the film. The cinematography, by Sturla Brandth GrÃ¸vlen, is also noteworthy, as is the eerie and haunting score by composer Tamar-kali. As Shirley becomes closer to Rose, she uses her as inspiration for her new novel, which is centered around a missing girl. The novel becomes a metaphor for the control that men exert over women, and the themes of power and manipulation linger throughout the film. Shirley's writing process also becomes a metaphor for her own life, as she uses the novel to work through her own anxieties and fears. The performances in the movie are top-notch, with Moss and Stuhlbarg delivering their usual excellence. However, it's Odessa Young's performance as Rose that steals the show. Young's portrayal of Rose as a complex and multi-layered character is impressive, and the chemistry between her and Moss is engrossing to watch. Overall, Shirley is a thoughtful and richly complex film that explores themes like feminism, control, and manipulation. Josephine Decker's direction creates an eerie and unsettling atmosphere, and the performances of Elisabeth Moss, Odessa Young, and Michael Stuhlbarg are exceptional. The movie is a must-watch for fans of psychological thrillers and those interested in exploring powerful female characters.