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Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

Trailer
2:35 | Trailer
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
3,512 ( 64)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 53 wins & 93 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 Solanas
Brandon Scott Jones ... Glen
Shae D'lyn ... Nell (as Shae D'Lyn)
Rosal Colon ... Rachel (as Rosal Colón)
Anna Deavere Smith ... Elaine
Marc Evan Jackson ... Lloyd
Learn more

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Storyline

Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) made her living in the 1970s and '80s 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

Taglines:

Her greatest work will be her biggest crime.


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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Melissa McCarthy's husband, Ben Falcone, was attached to the project before she was. He recommended her for the lead when another actor backed out. See more »

Goofs

When Lee is seen walking toward the 86th Street subway station, a sidewalk fruit stand is seen in the background. Fruit vendors were not common in New York until 2008, when the city's Green Carts program was implemented. See more »

Quotes

Gossipy Office Worker: [first lines: as Lee drinks whiskey at her desk] I swear she's older than my mom.
Cubicle Worker: Fuck, kill me if I'm still doing this at her age.
Lee Israel: Kill you now if you ask me nicely.
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

There Goes My Gun
Written by Frank Black (as Charles Thompson)
Performed by Pixies
Courtesy of 4AD Limited
See more »

User Reviews

 
Fascinating depiction of serial dishonesty
10 November 2018 | by PotassiumManSee all my reviews

Melissa McCarthy is not known for her dramatic roles, but this film might change that. It's the gripping story of Lee Israel, a struggling Manhattan writer who in the early 1990s undertook the extraordinary step of falsifying letters from famous people to make ends meet.

McCarthy is an eye-opener here as the hard-drinking, acid-tongued Israel, a miserable middle-aged woman who sought friendship in precious few souls, one of them being a mysterious figure on the Upper West Side portrayed with fierce verve by Richard E. Grant, who winds up becoming something of an accomplice to her enterprise. She is desperate to pay her bills. His murky story becomes more known as the film progresses. The two of them are an odd couple, as they both have setbacks and misery to look back upon, but their pessimism and misanthrope are not equally shared.

This film will offer a glimpse of nostalgia for anyone who remembers New York in a now quaint era, when struggling writers still lived as adults in Manhattan, when life was endearingly bleak and bookstores were not yet massive chains. That sense of atmosphere I greatly admire. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a scathing story of literary scheming.


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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

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$161,510, 21 October 2018

Gross USA:

$8,803,865

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,442,161
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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