Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Forgery for fun and profit

What’s it about?

Lee Israel, master biographer and all-round prick, is on skid row. Behind in her rent and with a sick cat she is desperate to make a name of herself, and in the process (hopefully) a lot of cash. Using her incredible writing talent she makes a huge amount cash … but not in her name.

What did we think?

Stephen Scott says: Strangely enough, we’ve seen Melissa McCarthy play an almost identical role before – someone who is failing at being who they are, so they become someone else. But this is no wacky Identity Thief goofball car trip (although it would be wonderful if fans of her comedy films see this gem), but the logical progression into crime committed by a literary genius. An extremely unlikable genius.

The true joy of Can You Ever Forgive Me? is that both lead characters are anti-heroes: there’s nothing to like about them, but in their downfalls there’s plenty for anyone to relate with.

Don’t be put off by the appearance of this film being too highbrow – there’s plenty of humour – and McCarthy and Richard E. Grant lace their stellar performances with irony and pathos. Just be prepared to have your heart broken.


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