Director: Marielle Heller
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Crime
Runtime: 106 Minutes
Main Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Ben Falcone, Jane Curtin, Christian Navarro, Brandon Scott Jones
Plot: Lee Israel is a Biography author struggling financially. She’s rude at best and has burned every bridge her agent has ever built for her. At her lowest point, she forges letters penned by famous people and sells them in order to pay her rent and look after her sick cat.
My Thoughts: You know those movies that just sneak up on you from nowhere and steal your heart? That’s what Can You Ever Forgive Me did for me this week. I’d never even heard of it until the Oscar nominations came in and both Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant cropped up for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. I’ve seen many of McCarthy’s comedies and find them to be very hit and miss, so I was really interested to see her in a more serious role.
Lee Israel is the perfect character for her to play. She’s mean, she’s rude, but she has a cracking sense of humour and that’s where McCarthy shines. Her chemistry with Richard E. Grant is just wonderful to watch, they honestly seem like they’ve been friends for years. The story itself is kind of predictable (it’s based on a real-life story as well, of course) but you don’t go into this movie to be surprised.
So colour me surprised and happy. Whilst I would LOVE both of these actors to take home their respective rewards later this month I’m not sure they’re in the runnings, but I urge you to give this one a watch if you haven’t already.
Best Bit: The banter between Lee and Jack is a highlight for sure, but their last meeting is the best by far. Just as I’d finished wiping my tears away one of them came out with a quip so sharp I ended up laughing out loud!
Worst Bit: When Lee came home after Jack was house sitting for her. I won’t go into specifics for spoiler reasons but I can’t deal with things like what happened there. It makes me all sad.
Fun Trivia: At the premiere of the film, Richard E. Grant happened to meet Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy) and asked her what she would have done had Lee Israel been standing in her court. Judy said that she would have given her a light fine because she did not kill anybody and, besides, the people dealing in celebrity memorabilia are possibly a little dodgy themselves.
My Rating: 4 and a half typewriters which may or may not have been used for illegal activity.