Elisabeth Moss portrays Shirley Jackson as a confused, troubled, and brilliant writer. Moss’s Jackson drinks too much, sleeps all day, and rarely leaves the house. But, Jackson loves to write and this movie tells the story of the writing of The Hangman, a story of a missing college student.
Director Josephine Decker and screenwriter Sarah Grubbins set up the action through the characters of a young couple–Rose (Odessa Young) and doctoral English student Fred (Logan Lerman). Jackson’s pretentious and philandering professor husband, Stanley (Michael Stuhlbarg), manages to convince Rose and Fred to stay in the house with him and his disturbed wife. Fred helps Stanley with his classes at Bennington College while Rose cooks and cleans.
Shirley Jackson and Rose form a quirky relationship while secrets swirl around both of them. If you have an interest in Shirley Jackson, this biopic will fascinate you. Elisabeth Moss’s performance deserves an Oscar nomination. Are you a Shirley Jackson fan? GRADE: B