Shirley review: Elisabeth Moss stuns in twisted thriller biopic #LFF #LFF2020

4 / 5 stars

Shirley

SHIRLEY is the latest film to star The Handmaid's Tale's Elisabeth Moss, and boy does she get the chance to show off.

PUBLISHED: 07:46, Fri, Oct 9, 2020 | UPDATED: 07:46, Fri, Oct 9, 2020

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Shirley is a thriller-cum-biopic which follows the life of a fictionalised Shirley Jackson, the horror novelist. Elisabeth Moss stars in the titular role, where she brings to life a woman whose abilities to create twisted stories become almost too adept as she wreaks havoc on the lives of an innocent woman.

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Shirley follows a fictionalised story involving Shirley Jackson, the real-life horror writer.

While the film leans on some of Shirley’s struggles, including her agoraphobia and drug abuse, it also focuses on how her twisted storytelling can inadvertently wreak havoc on the lives of others.

However, in Shirley, the question is posed as to how inadvertent this truly is, or whether Shirley wishes to turn the young Rose (played by Odessa Young) into her tragic protagonist.

Rose and her new husband, Fred (Logan Lerman) arrive at Shirley and her husband Stanley’s (Michael Stuhlbarg) home, intending to stay for a short while before they set themselves up in their own apartment.

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Shirley review: Elisabeth moss stuns in new thriller biopicShirley review: Elisabeth moss stuns in new thriller biopic (Image: Curzon)

Odessa Young as RoseOdessa Young as Rose (Image: Curzon)

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Shirley quickly shocks Rose by telling the room of Rose’s pregnancy, something which she and Fred were keeping to themselves due to the circumstances of their shotgun and subsequent disinheritance.

At first, Shirley’s forthrightness and social ineptitude leads Rose to call her ‘a monster’ and beg Fred to let them leave, however soon Shirley’s hold over Rose grows ever more strong.

With Stanley attempting to turn Rose into the cutesy housewife who tends to the group’s domestic needs, Shirley seems, at least at first, to use Rose as her play

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