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Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

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In 2 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

When Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception. An adaptation of the memoir Can You Ever Forgive Me?, the true story of best-selling celebrity biographer Lee Israel.

Director:

Marielle Heller

Writers:

Nicole Holofcener (screenplay by), Jeff Whitty (screenplay by)
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Popularity
184 ( 54)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 12 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melissa McCarthy ... Lee Israel
Richard E. Grant ... Jack Hock
Dolly Wells ... Anna
Ben Falcone ... Alan Schmidt
Gregory Korostishevsky ... Andre
Jane Curtin ... Marjorie
Stephen Spinella ... Paul
Christian Navarro ... Kurt
Pun Bandhu ... Agent Doyle
Erik LaRay Harvey ... Agent Solonas
Brandon Scott Jones ... Glen
Shae D'lyn ... Nell
Rosal Colon ... Rachel
Anna Deavere Smith ... Elaine
Marc Evan Jackson ... Lloyd
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Storyline

Following the critical and commercial failure of her biography of Estée Lauder, author Lee Israel struggles with financial troubles, writer's block and alcoholism. With her agent unable to secure her an advance for a new biography, Israel is forced to sell her possessions to cover her expenses; she sells a personal letter she received from Katharine Hepburn to Anna, a local book dealer. While conducting research for a novel about Fanny Brice, Israel happens upon a letter from Brice folded in a book, which she takes and offers to sell to Anna. She offers Israel a low price due to the letter's lack of interesting content. Israel begins to forge and sell letters by deceased writers, playwrights, and actors, lacing them with intimate details to command a higher price. Anna, who is a fan of Israel's own writing, attempts to initiate a romantic relationship with her, but is rebuffed..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references, and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 2018 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

Can You Ever Forgive Me? See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$161,510, 21 October 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,115,860, 13 December 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A pile of Lee Israel books ("Beyond the Magic", an unauthorized biography of Estee Lauder) are shown on sale at a bookstore for 75% off. Lauder was publishing her own memoirs and initially tried to pay Israel *not* to write her book, but she refused and rushed her book to publication. The autobiography was released in October 1985 and Israel's biography one month later. The book buying public chose to buy the Lauder's autobiography rather than the Israel's biography. Lee Israel later said she regretted not taking the money when it was first offered. See more »

Goofs

The word " backstory " is used, despite not being widely used at the time this story takes place. See more »

Quotes

Lounge Singer: This next song goes out to all the agoraphobic junkies who couldn't be here tonight.
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Soundtracks

Steeple
Written by Alexander McCabe
Performed by Alexander McCabe
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User Reviews

 
A thoughtful, refreshing comedic drama with a stellar central performance
7 October 2018 | by joelbrandt2See all my reviews

Stellar performances and strong writing/direction present a refreshing blend of subtly unique outsider characters (Lee and Jack have great chemistry-just wish there was another dialogue with Anna), fringe city settings (dilapidated apartments, smoky bars, dusty bookstores), and-with equal parts humour and tragedy-themes of loneliness, poverty, and the search for happiness (see Lee enjoying the music at the pub). The courtroom climax is a bit contrived, but the bar reunion afterwards is perfect.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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