Elisabeth Moss has already delivered one of the year’s best performances thanks to her work in “The Invisible Man,” which debuted in theaters and hit PVOD in March. Now Moss is set to add another towering performance to the list with the upcoming summer release of Josephine Decker’s “Shirley.” The film is based on the novel of the same name by Susan Scarf Merrell and marks Decker’s return after earning raves for “Madeline’s Madeline.” Decker directs from a script by Sarah Gubbins.
The official synopsis reads: “Fred (Lerman) and Rose (Young) move to a small Vermont college town in pursuit of a job for Fred as an assistant professor of literature. The young couple receives an offer for free room and board from professor Stanley Hyman (Stuhlbarg), as long as Rose agrees to spend time cleaning up the home and looking after his wife, acclaimed horror author Shirley Jackson (Moss). At first Fred and Rose detest the rocky household of the eccentric couple, but they eventually establish deep bonds with their counterparts, which will test the limits of their young love.”
“Shirley” world premiered earlier this year at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where IndieWire named the drama one of the event’s best movies. IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich wrote out of Sundance, “The sawtoothed and delirious ‘Shirley’ is no more of a biopic than ‘Bright Star,’ ‘An Angel at My Table,’ or ‘Shakespeare in Love.’ The best elements of this movie — its poisoned eros, its secrets in shallow focus, its steadfast determination to distill the ‘thrillingly horrible’ process of a young woman’s self-awakening — conspire to embarrass the idea that Decker wouldn’t be able to explore her truth in someone else’s fiction.”
In addition to starring in “Shirley,” Moss also produced the film alongside the likes of screenwriter Gubbins, Christine Vachon of Killer Films, and former HBO Entertainment president Sue Naegle. “Shirley” also finds Decker marking new collaborations with cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (“Rams,” “Victoria,” “Last and First Men”) and composer Tamar-kali (“Mudbound”).
Neon will release “Shirtley” on June 5. Watch the trailer for the drama in the video below.