Josephine Decker (2018)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Horror author Shirley Jackson gets an appropriately haunting pseudo-biopic with this inventive film from director Josephine Decker. Young couple Fred and Rose Nemser (Logan Lerman and Odessa Young) arrive at the Vermont home of Fred's new boss, professor Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg), for an extended stay. There, they meet Stanley's writer wife Shirley (Elisabeth Moss), who is wracked with depression as she struggles to eke out her next novel. While the men spend their days at work, Rose becomes Shirley's reluctant caretaker, and events very quickly become reminiscent of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, another deliciously ghoulish domestic drama, as Stanley and Shirley torment their lodgers. Much of this narrative is actually invented - Sarah Gubbins's screenplay is adapted from a speculative novel, rather than a biography - but the high concept of Jackson living out her own gothic tale is pulled off with absorbing style. Moss delivers another stand-out depiction of teetering sanity, while Decker perfectly utilises grainy film, low light and strange sound design to evoke Shirley's cooped up and isolated existence.

Cast & Crew

Shirley Jackson Elisabeth Moss
Stanley Hyman Michael Stuhlbarg
Rose Nemser / Paula Odessa Young
Fred Nemser Logan Lerman
Katherine Victoria Pedretti
Randy Fisher Robert Wuhl
Dean Paul O'Brien
Caroline Orlagh Cassidy
Director Josephine Decker
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: CurzonReleased on: 30 Oct 2020