Fred (Logan Lerman) and Rose (Odessa Young) are a young couple who travel by train to Vermont in the 1950s, where he hopes for a permanent position at the university under the wing of Professor Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlberg) to acquire. Rose plans to go to college, but things turn out differently when Hyman asks her to take on the household chores in exchange for their room and board and keep an eye on his rather depressed wife, the writer Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth). Moss).
Stanley and Shirley turn out to be a fighting couple who enjoy humiliating each other and manipulating others together. For example, they put the blunt ax in the relationship of their young guests and shrewdly undermine their mental well-being. A form of sabotage that turns out to work wonders for Jackson’s creativity.
Shirley contains biographical elements, but is above all a fruit of the imagination of Susan Scarf Merrell, author of the book that forms the basis of this film. Elisabeth Moss cleverly suggests in her performance the black hole that brings her character to her actions. Odessa Young meanwhile delivers powerful counterplay.
✭✭✭✭ (4 out of 5)