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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

When Lee is sitting on her couch, early in the film, the classic movie she is watching is The Little Foxes (1941) starring Bette Davis. This movie was an adaptation of the play by Lillian Hellman; Hellman cowrote the screenplay, with additional additional scenes and dialogue by three other screenwriters, one of whom was Dorothy Parker. Parker and Hellman are two of the authors whose letters Lee forges later in the movie. See more »

Goofs

A couple of times we see the characters sitting in a bar, while a snowstorm is obviously occurring outside, but when they walk outside, there isn't any snow on the ground at all. See more »

Quotes

Lee Israel: Jack Hock, you said?
Jack Hock: That's me. The renegade, the rebel. Jack Hock, big cock.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the closing credits start, they move to the left side of the screen and information about the protagonists appears on the right. 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 »


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

 
Thoughtful work from a comic actress
9 September 2018 | by Lionesse20See all my reviews

After the abysmal Ghostbusters remake and the endlessly panned Happytime Murders, true fans of McCarthy will be glad to see her redemption in this dramatic turn. McCarthy really shines in her role as author Lee Israel and effortlessly portrays the loneliness and insecurity of her character. Her rapport with Grant (and even with the cat) is wonderful, and the writing is clever. This was a surprising and delightful highlight at Telluride this year.


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