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.
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The shadows of screams climb beyond the hills. It has happened before. But this will be the last time. The last few sense it, withdrawing deep into the forest. They cry out into the black, as the shadows pass away, into the ground.
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
A Low-key Comic Drama That Showcases Melissa McCarthy's Talent
Going into CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? I had rather low expectations. As I walked out of the theater, I was impressed by the fact that director Marielle Heller and actress Melissa McCarthy (who last starred in the disastrous THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS) had managed to make me care about a film focused on subject matter that I found rather uninteresting to begin with. The concept at the heart of this film will certainly appeal to some, but unfortunately for me, it was the one thing actively working against the film from the get-go. And indeed, during the film's rather dull first ten minutes, I feared that I would be bored for the next hour and a half. Thankfully, however, the introduction of Richard E. Grant's character immediately elevated the film, and his dynamic with McCarthy's Lee Israel (an author who forged hundreds of letters in the 1990s) is undoubtedly the highlight of the film, providing hearty laughs and emotional depth in equal measure. And McCarthy herself proves more than capable of handling a meaty dramatic role that aptly showcases her talent and makes one wish that she didn't star in such films as the aforementioned HAPPYTIME MURDERS. To all the filmmakers out there: McCarthy has talent. Use it.
I might not have been very invested in the film's story, but McCarthy and Grant (who should definitely be in the running for a Best Supporting Actor nomination next year) certainly make CAN YOU EVERY FORGIVE ME? worth watching.
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