From director Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? is based on the true story of the audacious celebrity biographer Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy).
Struggling to make ends meet due to her agent’s unwillingness to fund her latest project, Lee, almost accidentally, finds herself forging and elaborating on letters written by famous literary authors. With the help of flamboyant friend Jack (Richard E Grant), the two find themselves getting deeply involved in the business of high-value literary collectables – a risky but rewarding venture.
“The lonely souls of Lee and Jack fond an unlikely companionship, though the two would never admit it.”
Lee is a harsh woman, she drinks too much, swears too much and shares a disgusting apartment with her beloved elderly cat. Her trust issues and failed past relationships have given her a hard outer shell, resulting in a compulsive want to push people away. We do, however, catch a glimpse of her soft side, especially in Lee’s love for animals, her warmth towards a potential romantic partner and the generosity she often shows Jack.
“It’s refreshing to see Melissa McCarthy in a role that goes against her usual type, demonstrating immense talent in her sincere portrayal of such a complex character.”
Jack can be selfish and proud, but Richard E Grant’s sparkling blue eyes and zest for life injects the character with humour and lovability. Lee obviously enjoys being in Jack’s company, with him serving as a distraction from the mundane but also the loneliness looming over her.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? is an original, witty story of how one woman’s nerve and talent managed to fool an entire community of collectors, but it’s so much more than that. The film provides an intimate exploration of unhappiness and demonstrates the importance of friendship sublimely.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? screens Fri 8 – Thu 14 Mar. To book tickets, click here.