Melissa McCarthy stars in the adaptation of the memoir and true story of best-selling celebrity biographer Lee Israel. When Lee 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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Marielle Heller’s film, from Nicole Holofcener’s and Jeff Whitty’s screenplay, is an excellent evocation of the non-rich New York writer’s life, low-key, desperate, and drained of what once might have been comedy.
Can You Ever Forgive Me offers a feminist counter citation to Orson Welles’s pseudo-documentary F For Fake (1976). Whereas Welles generalised that “almost any story is almost certainly some kind of lie”, Heller’s film pushes this farther, underscoring the gendered dimensions of creative work by showing the impact of inequalities in the publishing industry on its central character.
This is a fabulous tragi-comedy which fully rehabilitates Richard E Grant. The genius of it is that you just glimpse the pain and the buried hope below the bluster, arrogance and sociopathy. The secondary characters are also rounded out to an unusual degree. Lee Israel’s dinner with a bookseller admirer is a mini masterpiece in itself.
"Where do all the quiet gays go?" asks Hannah Gadsby in Nanette. At times, Can You Ever Forgive Me feels like a response to that, one of the only films I've seen that tackles that very unique kind of queer loneliness. With impeccable performances by McCarthy (further exploring the depth of Spy) and Grant, it's a tearjerker that, as an introverted writer gay, was painfully relatable. Funny but devastating.
Como el jazz de su soundtrack, el filme transmite el dolor inherente de la vida, los dolores íntimos, pero con sus notas humorísticas e irónicas que le quitan la sobriedad a lo sórdido. A momentos no puedes evitar reir pero inmediatamente una linea, un gesto te devuelve a la realidad. La fotografía y el diseño de arte te transportan a una Nueva York encantadora inundada en tonos nostálgicos y familiares. Recomendada
Here's an awards season film I saw the trailer for and (wrongfully) assumed would be a visually uninteresting talkie - but no, this is well shot by Brandon Trost and, more than that, represents one of the best films I've seen about writers, precisely because it takes a pickaxe to the notion that the writing life is anything but extremely difficult and frequently unrewarding even when one is turning out quality work.
The REGnnaissance (sorry) - which, lest we forget, began so brilliantly in LOGAN - is a joy to watch, even if it ultimately just makes you yearn for him, Bruce Robinson and Paul McGann to just sort out that bloody Withnail sequel. In the meantime this film is sweet fun, but the scenes with him and McCarthy (also excellent) are truly the stand out.
Tragicomic gold. I love how down to earth and depressing it feels, even when it's (very) funny, but it never goes for melodrama or easy laughs. McCarthy and Grant are just perfect. And I don't want to be the asshole that wishes Holofcenter would have directed it instead, but I'm going to be just that. Heller is a good acting director, but visually it felt like (ironically or not) a 90's Nora Ephron film.