Shirley is a fictional story based on the novel of the same name by Susan Scarf Merrell, but it features two real characters — famed horror novelist Shirley Jackson and literary critic husband Stanley Edgar Hyman.
Jackson is best known for the celebrated work of psychological horror fiction, The Haunting of Hill House, which has been adapted several times and was recently adapted loosely by Mike Flanagan for a Netflix series. Stephen King called the novel one of the finest horror novels of the late 20th century.
Elisabeth Moss plays the titular character and Michael Stuhlbarg essays the role of Hyman. The film looks like an absolute blast. First off, Moss as Jackson is pitch perfect casting. She looks the part, and she seems to be doing a superlative job in bringing out the author’s annoyance in a nuanced way despite the stolid exterior.
One thing is certain, this is no traditional biopic. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January and the reviews are glowing. It has scored a 97 per cent rating at review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
Josephine Decker has directed the film with a screenplay by Sarah Gubbins
Shirley will be out on June 5.