Academy Award Nominee – Richard Grant (Best Supporting Actor), Melissa McCarthy (Best Actress), Best Adapted Screenplay
Golden Globe nominee – Best Actress (Melissa McCarthy), Best Supporting Actor (Richard E. Grant)
Based on the real-life escapades of author Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) who finds herself desperate to pay the rent and buy her beloved pet cat food after she’d run through her earlier success in the 1970s and ’80s as a celebrity biographer.
This just in —
from A.O. Scott’s NY Times Review: Melissa McCarthy Is Criminally Good in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’
Lee Israel may be the single most interesting movie character you will encounter this year, which is not to say that she’s altogether pleasant company. She would most likely feel the same way about you, minus the “interesting” part, unless you happen to be a cat or Dorothy Parker. It has been a while since a world-class, life-size misanthrope like Lee has commanded the screen — not another brooding narcissist or a showily difficult cable TV antihero, but a smart, cranky human recognizably made of flesh and blood. Also whiskey, bile and typewriter ink.
Melissa McCarthy is terrific as Lee Israel, and Richard E. Grant as Jack is her perfect foil. They meet one afternoon at Julius, a rather seedy gay watering hole in the Village. Having just been fired from her job, and unable to get her agent to push her work-in-progress about Fanny Brice, she and her new friend drink to excess. Close to losing her apartment, Lee accidentally discovers she can embellish letters by famous literati such as Dorothy Parker, Noel Coward, and others, and sell them to collectors for hundreds of dollars apiece. Suddenly, she’s careening down a dangerous career path. aided and abetted by Jack, who may be a homeless pleasure seeker, but still has wit and charm to burn.
(US / 2018 / Directed by Marielle Heller)
R / 106 mins.