Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Release Date: October 19th, 2018

R |1 hr 46 min

Plot Summary

Celebrity biographer Lee Israel makes her living profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. 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.

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Ben Falcone, Gregory Korostishevsky, Jane Curtin, Stephen Spinella, Christian Navarro

Director: Marielle Heller

Genres: Biography , Comedy drama

Production Co: Archer Gray

Keywords: Creative , Amusing , Office , Quest , Emotional , Fall , New York City , Transformation , Friend

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Dana StevensSlate

    One of the things I loved about Can You Ever Forgive Me?—aside from the radiantly perfect casting of McCarthy and Grant, a Withnail and I–esque pair of drinking buddies, except this time they’re both asocial, hilarious Withnails—was Heller’s quiet confidence in establishing the milieu where all this typing and lying took place. show more

  • 80
    Joe MorgensternWall Street Journal

    The film is not only not unpleasant but a genuine, authentic and honest-to-goodness pleasure. show more

  • 80
    Stephen FarberThe Hollywood Reporter

    McCarthy’s performance, which is paired with an equally rewarding turn by British actor Richard E. Grant, anchors this bizarre, compelling true story. show more

See all critic reviews on


Nominated Leading Actress
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2019)
Nominated Adapted Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2019)
Nominated Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Screen Actors Guild Awards (2019)