Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Certificate 15


(2018) 106 mins

Director: Marielle Heller
Writers: Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty
Cinematography: Brandon Trost
Production Design: Stephen H Carter
Music: Nate Heller



Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer (and cat lover) who made her living in the 1970’s and 80’s profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estée Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee found herself unable to get published because she had fallen out of step with the marketplace, she turned her art form to deception. Abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant), she applied her literary talent to the lucrative business of forging and selling letters from the likes of Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward.

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Director Marielle Heller tells a believable and memorable story that’s the opposite of candy-coloured, making no false claims about humanity nor twists to a happy ending. Instead, the film revels in the wonder of the extraordinary life of Israel, an exceptional writer whose incredible wit, intelligence and stubbornness were her strength and her downfall. Exquisite supporting performances, most notably by Dolly Wells and Jane Curtin, along with excellent production design make this a slam-dunk for the literary-minded.”  Radio Times

Can You Ever Forgive Me? is at once a low-stakes crime drama, a buddy comedy, a period piece and a loving tribute to a woman who at this point in her life and career did not feel loved. . . It comes from a place of understanding and love that few other biopics do, and it makes this difficult character a joy to meet.”

“Tonally, Can You Ever Forgive Me? cuts an elegant path between humour and pathos . . . That we emerge from it all smiling is a credit to the delicate balancing act that this very likable movie pulls off with aplomb.”  The Guardian

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