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Can You Ever Forgive Me (15)


US biopic drama in which biographer Lee Israel's failing writing career leads her to commit literary fraud.

The critical consensus

As it sweeps you exhilaratingly back to the 1990s, Can You Ever Forgive Me? is deviously funny and deeply moving.

*****Katherine McLaughlin, The List, 28/01/2019

Everything – performance, script, direction, cinematography – works in perfect concert.

****(*)David Jenkins, Little White Lies, 29/01/2019

McCarthy pulls off quite a trick in this Oscar-tipped comedy: she makes the character of embittered literary forger Lee Israel seem lovable.

*****Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 30/01/2019

Melissa McCarthy is magnificent as an odious literary forger abetted by Richard E Grant as her lounge-lizard drinking buddy.

*****Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 30/01/2019

Both McCarthy and Grant have been Oscar-nominated and rightly so: their camaraderie – fuelled by daytime drinking sessions – is a hoot, at times recalling Withnail and I.

****(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 31/01/2019

A moving hymn to outsiders, this thrives on two criminally good performances from Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant. It also confirms Marielle Heller as one of the brightest directorial talents around.

****(*)Ian Freer, Empire Online, 28/01/2019

It’s a melancholic, smart, cautionary tale about a woman who decided if you can’t make it, fake it.

****(*)Joseph Walsh, The Skinny, 02/02/2019

Oscar nominees Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant make a perfect pairing in this finely composed portrayal of real-life literary forger Lee Israel.

****(*)Mark Kermode, The Observer, 03/02/2019

Kudos to director Marielle Heller for restraining McCarthy’s natural clowning and elevating Grant’s theatricality to the brink of believability, while drawing from both great depth and subtlety. (Dolly Wells does jolly well, too, as the bookish love interest Anna.)

****(*)Peter Callaghan, Review Sphere, 04/02/2019

Features about Can You Ever Forgive Me (15)

Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant on the importance of women behind the camera.

Clarsse Loughrey, The Independent, 04/02/2019

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow from Monday March 4, 2019, until Thursday March 7, 2019. More info:

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