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Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

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When Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.

Director:

Marielle Heller

Writers:

Nicole Holofcener (screenplay by), Jeff Whitty (screenplay by)
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Popularity
815 ( 100)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 50 wins & 82 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

Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) made her living in the 1970's and 80's profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant). An adaptation of the memoir "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" relays the true story of the best-selling celebrity biographer (and friend to cats). Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

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:

$8,803,865, 14 March 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Melissa McCarthy's first portrayal of real-life person. See more »

Goofs

When Lee is seen walking toward the 86th Street subway station, she passes the Citibank branch at 86th and Broadway, with an advertisement for Citi Priority Banking in the window. Citi Priority did not exist until 2016. See more »

Quotes

Lee Israel: I have been living in a state of enormous guilt and anxiety for the past year. Not because I felt like I was doing something wrong, but because I was always afraid of being found out. I can't specifically say that I regret my actions. I don't. I thoroughly enjoyed writing these letters, living in the world of Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward, pretending I was something I am not. In many ways, this has been the best time of my life. It's the only time recently I can remember being proud of the ...
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Crazy Credits

Closing credits appear onscreen as if typewritten. See more »

Alternate Versions

Ahead of the film's release in Australia, the distributor chose to pre-cut the film in order to obtain an M classification. These changes removed detail of hard drug misuse (cocaine snorting) through re-framing, and also removed the film's sole use of very strong language by re-dubbing the term with a milder phrase. The uncut international version was later approved for a DVD/Video release with an uncut MA15+ classification. See more »

Connections

Featured in ITV Lunchtime News: Episode dated 9 January 2019 (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Maduros
Written by Alexander McCabe
Performed by Alexander McCabe and Robi Hager
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I'm seeing so many movies with ghosts lately I thought the friend didn't exist.
10 May 2019 | by ReadingFilmSee all my reviews

It keeps bringing his flamboyance and her butchness. Meaning the fringe is to carry the torch for the very ones they do not fit with, telling their stories while they crumble from within in their societal exile. This is the paradox of performance. An entitlement of spite. Its best insight is she does not regret it. She hates them and they hate her, and she makes them pay, and they make her pay, and it's a fair transaction. But it's her beauty I kept seeing hidden from her presentation as ugly that is paradoxical to her external ugliness, and that is the beauty being behind the 'artist'. They never see their own forgiving light. They are brutally unfair to themselves as they exist in symbol for translation not involving the 'self.' Movies will often conclude with nature or art as the solution, but New York cities movies always use New York itself, meaning they are in the divine paradise already, and here art is the foregone conclusion, its battle is just that little irksome detail of who is its author. In this light embodied by the same mesh of the city, her being its entire, whether she encapsulates it or not they are stuck with each other. There is this extremely 21st century idea in ownership that she disputes but can't quite ethically or morally articulate, and that I believe will take a greater shape in years to come. There's something to the validity of what she's doing. But what? Lastly is the joke of her own name. 'Is Real'. As well it's a powerful author name, like she's always being reminded it's her, as the artists, they have to take your word for it.


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