BRAT’s review published on Letterboxd:
out of all eight 2020 releases i’ve seen (lol), Shirley is by far my favorite. josephine decker has acheived auteur status — just like in Madeline’s Madeline, the camera swirls around her characters, the framing focusing on fragments of their faces, proffering a dreamy drift through the woods of vermont. it blurs the line between muse and friend and lover, and highlights the tendency of artists to take advantage of the people who inspire them most. should a muse be honored? disgusted? resentful?
there are so many stories about eccentric older male geniuses and their pretty young muses, but this is one of the only ones i’ve seen where said genius is a woman. shirley is messy and spiteful and capricious — her being a woman doesn’t let her off the hook for her behavior, but rather, explains and interrogates certain aspects of it, especially considering the time period of the early 60s.
but my favorite part about Shirley is how accurately it depicts the Writing Process™: neglecting to wash your dishes, refusing to leave the house, and laying in bed (or on the floor) with your cat for days on end.
this one goes out to my depressed lady writers! go girls give us nothing!!! 💫