When bestselling celebrity biographer, Lee Israel, is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend, Jack.... (Full plot summary below)
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When bestselling celebrity biographer, Lee Israel, is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend, Jack.
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CineVue - 10/10 by Tom DugginsDirector Marielle Heller takes viewers on a hilarious tour of New York’s memorabilia dealers, blending a mixture of heist comedy with a sensitive character study of Israel herself: “bitter as a root”, to use her own expression, but not without a certain irascible charm.
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/10 by Richard RoeperAt times Can You Ever Forgive Me? is actually quite funny and of course McCarthy is great in those scenes — but she’s equally effective in the darkest, most dramatic moments. It’s one of the finest performances of the year.
National Post - 10/10 by Chris KnightThere's a sense in which the author, who wrote a book about her adventures and died a few years ago at the age of 75, gets the last laugh, which is then graciously passed along to the audience by way of the closing credits. Who said crime doesn't pay?
Digital Journal - 10/10 by Sarah Gopaul[McCarthy] fits quite comfortably in the skin of a homely cat lady with a knack for unsolicited ghostwriting, spewing sarcasm and radiating belligerence.
San Francisco Chronicle - 10/10 by Mick LaSalleA breakthrough for McCarthy and a highlight of the movie year.
Culture Whisper - 10/10 by Ella KempHeller directs the story of a woman who could be considered problematic, unlikeable or difficult, with engaging charisma that lets you laugh only to make you cry by the end.
Film Journal International - 10/10 by Simi HorwitzMcCarthy has found the right creative partner in Heller, who treads unchartered territory with a character like Israel: unfashionable, unfamiliar and unappealing to most viewers.
The New York Times - 10/10 by A.O. ScottPartly because the movie is so splendidly and completely absorbed in its characters and their milieu, it communicates much more than a quirky appreciation for old books and odd readers.
Film Threat - 10/10 by Malik AdanAt every turn, Marielle Heller provides nuanced, intimate framing and dialogue that is most interested in the little dramas that define who we are while never losing sight of its overarching narrative.
Chicago Tribune - 10/10 by Katie WalshMcCarthy is exceptional as the irascible Lee, and her skill in a dramatic role should be no surprise. Her performance is detailed, nuanced and subtly affecting, while Grant brings the relief as the tragicomic Jack, who showboats in circles around McCarthy, who's in the straight man role for a change.