SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

MOVIES: Can You Ever Forgive Me - Review



One of the most welcome surprises of 2018, Can You Ever Forgive Me, currently in the middle of a theatrical release in British cinemas, is an amazing true-story inspired film based on the life of writer Lee Israel, who turns to signature forging to make a living when she cannot keep up with the current industry trends after her personality has made her an outcast to the point where her own agent is ignoring her calls. Along the way she enlists the help of the charismatic Jack Hock to make a profit, and what follows is an entertaining, low-key but infinitely likeable period drama, that echoes the Coen Brothers with its wit and charm.

Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant are the standouts here and the cast more than deliver. Both their characters are well defined and the emotional heartbeat at the films' core, and for someone as unlikable as Lee Israel is shown to be from the beginning, it's a credit to McCarthy's brilliance as an actress that she's able to make the audience sympathise with her character. Director Marielle Heller can get the best out of the two cast members - who have brilliant chemistry together, and shine every time they share the screen. McCarthy justifiably deserves more awards recognition, whilst Richard E. Grant is at least a worthy inclusion for best supporting actor and when stacked against his competition, deserves that win.

The film is brilliantly paced, never feeling too long or too dry. It sets up its act structure nicely and follows it, with a rewarding payoff seeing a but welcome surprise appearance from Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place's Marc Evan Jackson as Israel's lawyer. Jackson is good, making the most out of his minor role, but all the praise should be on McCarthy and Grant. Their quirks and mannerisms that they help bring to their characters make them feel right at home in the version of New York that Heller is able to bring to the screen, portraying the atmosphere of the seedy bars that they inhabit with a great sense of location. The choice of music is spot on too - from Roxy Music's Same Old Scene being played at the beginning, Can You Ever Forgive Me is the example of how to get the tone of a film just right.

Following on from 2015's The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Heller is confident and collective in this well-executed sophomore effort. McCarthy's career-best performance ensures that every dialogue from Jeff Whitty & Nicole Holofcener's smart, punctuated script lands - and by the end you'll be too swept up by how good the film is so that you won't be bothered by the fact that the trailer gave everything away, which unfortunately is an all-too common habit from biopics like this.

Like the best biopics, Can You Ever Forgive Me will leave audiences wanting to find out more about its subject matter afterwards. If you have a Mubi subscription then it is currently free to watch as part of Mubi Go for this week at participating cinemas (until this Friday, where it is replaced by If Beale Street Could Talk) if there's a cinema near you that's showing it as part of their event - and is every bit worth seeking out if you can. It's one of the most charming films of the year.

Get Email Alerts


 
About The SpoilerTV Daily Newsreel

Every day 100's of items are submitted to us and we don't always have the time to make separate posts for the news and/or there is so much that it would quickly push all other items off the homepage.

So a result we've come up with the idea of the Newsreel, which will feature smaller shows and news items as they happen.

There will be a new Newsreel each day, and as news is added we will update the post and and push it back to the top of the site so that you can see that new items have been added. A tweet of the item will also be sent to our @SpoilerTV account.

New Items will be listed at the top of the article.

This will allow us to provide more news on more shows in a much more timely fashion
About Movie News Roundup

Rather that creating lots of new posts as new info is released and fragmenting the commentary, we thought it would be a good idea for the upcoming major movies to create a single post for each major movies that will collate all the info as it's posted.

New items will be added to the top of the list as well as the post being re-posted back to the top of the homepage when a new item is added. We will additionally send out a fresh tweet alerting you of the new information.

This will allow you to bookmark this page so that you can return to it whenever you like. It will also help consolidate all the discussion on this movie in a central place and make it less likely that you'll miss some key information.