Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Panorama | Special Presentations
Star comedienne Melissa McCarthy proves her dramatic range in this smart true-life literary caper from director Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl).
Before turning to the criminal life by running a one-woman forgery scam out of an Upper West Side studio, shared with her tortoiseshell cat, and dodging the FBI, Lee Israel enjoyed a celebrated reputation as an author. When her writing career suddenly took a turn for the worse, she conceived of the astonishing literary scheme that fooled even many of the experts. Forging hundreds of letters from such collectible luminaries as Dorothy Parker, Noël Coward and Lillian Hellman—and recreating their autographs with a flourish—Israel sold her "memorabilia" to dealers across the country, producing a collection of pitch-perfect imitations virtually indistinguishable from the voices of their real-life counterparts. Still, buyers became suspicious at the sudden glut in the market, exacerbated when Lee’s friend Jack (Richard E. Grant) comes up with his own crude variation on the scam, stealing actual letters from library archives and reselling them…
With a screenplay by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) adapted from Israel’s memoir of the same name, Can You Ever Forgive Me? bears all the hallmarks of the real deal: a sharp comic drama for grown-ups.