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Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

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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)
Reviews
Popularity
1,509 ( 251)
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 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 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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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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Julianne Moore was attached to this project during early development. She was fired from the project due to creative differences. 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

Illusions
Written by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick K. Hollander)
Performed by Marlene Dietrich
Courtesy of Arkadin Chansons
See more »

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User Reviews

 
entertaining movie about reprobates
20 May 2019 | by cheroldSee all my reviews

This true-life story set in the 1990s portrays the obnoxious biographer Lee Israel's decent into crime. It's an interesting story, but the prime reason to watch is for an utterly brilliant lead performance by Melissa McCarthy, who manages to make Israel clearly awful yet surprisingly relatable. The always reliable Richard E. Grant is fun as her partner in crime, although it's not my favorite Grant performance so I don't know why he seemed to receive just as much praise as McCarthy.

Besides the story and performances this is notable for offering a peek into a world of literary letter collecting that most of us are unfamiliar with. The movie does a good job of going in by degrees, starting with a nice bookstore lady and then wading into more serious collectors, conventions, and shady characters.

Watch it!


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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