The movie


When a student couple is invited into the home of writers Shirley Jackson and Stanley Hyman, a delicate balance is fatally disturbed…

Length: 107 min
Country: United States
Language spoken: English
Language subtitles: Dutch
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young, Logan Lerman
Director: Josephine Decker
Release date: 2020


When Shirley Jackson published 'The Lottery' in the New Yorker in 1948, she became an instant—and controversial—sensation for her unsparing critique of small-town American mores. She went on to write more than 200 short stories and six novels, many of them psychological thrillers. That thriller approach is adopted by director Josephine Decker in this brilliantly acted and directed non-biopic (none of Jackson and husband Stanley Hyman’s—played here by Michael Stuhlbarg—four children appear), which reimagines the demons that fuelled Jackson’s art. When a young student couple (Odessa Young and Logan Lerman) are invited into the Jackson-Hyman home, an already delicate balance is fatally disturbed…

‘Resisting the usual biopic tropes, "Shirley" creates something far more perversely fascinating by inventing its own rules to reveal the author as the architect of her own fragile mental state. All praise to Elisabeth Moss, who brilliantly plays Jackson as a volcano on the verge of eruption… This psychologically dense spellbinder takes a cue from Jackson’s novels and simmers with mystery and menace.’—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone