“Shirley” and “Outer Banks” Season 1

By June 7, 2020 Backstage Pass

 

“Shirley” stars Elizabeth Moss as Shirley Jackson, the acclaimed horror writer of the 1950s. Michael Stuhlbarg plays her husband, Stanley Hyman. The film will stream online and will also open in select drive-in theaters.

It’s a drama set after the release of Jackson’s famous short story, “The Lottery,” in 1948. When newlyweds Rose (Odessa Young) and Fred (Logan Lerman) arrive at the Jackson-Hyman home upon Stanley’s invitation, a psychological dichotomy ensues.

Director Josephine Decker’s feature debut “Madeline’s Madeline” (2018), is a tale centered on a young woman whose grip with reality slowly weakens as she finds her imagination being made real. The theme is the perfect groundwork for Decker’s follow-up film, “Shirley.” The lovely, eerie, dreamy tone, sets the stage for dramatic exploration into the psyche of Shirley Jackson, with Elizabeth Moss diving into her performance head first.

An intriguing view is taken as we are shown a madness that is not chemical-based; instead, what plagues Jackson and her houseguest, are the societal rules and expectations placed upon women. The mundane tasks of wifely duties. As Jackson spirals downward, her only saving grace is her incessant need to write her novels, seeking the high that creation brings.

The Bottomline: I’m Way in ★★★★ out of four. Moss and Stuhlbarg are absorbing in their roles. The toxic relationship between Jackson and Stanley is similar to watching “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf.” Director Josephine Decker creates a taunt spellbinding thriller.

Cast: Elizabeth Moss, (Shirley Jackson), Michael Stuhlbarg, (Stanley Hyman), Odessa Young, (Rose) and Logan Lerman, (Fred)

Credits: Written by Sarah Gubbins; Directed by Josephine Decker

Studio: Neon

Running Time: 135 minutes

“Outer Banks” Season 1, 10 Episodes

From Netflix, John B (Chase Stokes) has not seen or heard from his father in almost a year. He and his friends JJ, Pope, and Kiara uncover clues that begin to reveal what might have happened to his father.

Madelyn Cline, (Sarah Cameron), daughter of Ward Cameron, and John B’s love interest. She is referred to by many as the princess of the Kooks; however, her rebellious side often rejects the Kook life and gets her mixed up with the Pogues.

Madison Bailey, (Kiara “Kie”), the daughter of a successful restaurant owner who hangs out with the Pogues. She is technically a Kook as she comes from a wealthy family and lives in Figure Eight, but the Kooks reject her as a Kook.

Outer Banks is an exciting escape, here’s a series that’s fun to binge-watch because it’s hard to stop at just one episode. Themes relate to socioeconomic disparity and prejudice. John B sets the tone, and as the community has two distinct classes: the wealthy Kooks and the working-class Pogues. As conflicts play out between the different groups, John B. and his friends symbolize the higher community tensions. Kiara’s character is beautifully written to challenge those stereotypes.

The Bottom-line? I’m in ★★★ stars out of four. The sun-soaked scenery of the Outer Banks is a guilty pleasure. The teens are engaging and fun in this preposterous script.

Cast:

Jonathan Daviss, (Pope) the brains of the Pogues.

Rudy Pankow,(J.J.),John B’s loyal best friend since the third grade who is a surfer.

Austin North, (Topper), Sarah’s ex-boyfriend, and fellow Kook, who despises the Pogues.

Charles Esten, (Ward Cameron) Sarah’s father, a wealthy business owner who lives on the wealthier part of the Outer Banks known as “Figure Eight.”

Drew Starky,(Rafe Cameron), Sarah’s older brother.

Sarah Knight Adamson© June 7, 2020