Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)


Critic Consensus: Deftly directed and laced with dark wit, Can You Ever Forgive Me? proves a compelling showcase for deeply affecting work from Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy.


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Movie Info

In CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer (and cat lover) who made her living in the 1970's and 80's profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estée Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee found herself unable to get published because she had fallen out of step with the marketplace, she turned her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant).


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Critic Reviews for Can You Ever Forgive Me?

All Critics (167) | Top Critics (39)

Can You Ever Forgive Me? works, largely, because director Marielle Heller and screenwriter Nicole Holofcener approach this totally unlikeable character from a place of unconditional love and understanding.

Nov 5, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

McCarthy plays it straight, allowing her talent as an actress - often hidden under the dreck for which she draws big paychecks - to shine through.

Nov 3, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's not a rebirth for McCarthy, but it's an awakening, and a reminder of what she can do when she dives into a project worthy of her talents.

Nov 2, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Melissa McCarthy's bid for dramatic cred is just nasty enough to be enjoyable, thanks hugely to Richard E. Grant's gleeful turn as a dimwitted but high-spirited end-of-the-line party boy who befriends our heroine just as she touches bottom.

Nov 2, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

While it's corrosively humorous, the film is essentially a fact-based drama with poignant psychological insights about notions like insecurity, isolation and honesty.

Nov 1, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

McCarthy hits a career high in this funny-sad film about a talented miscreant.

Nov 1, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Can You Ever Forgive Me?


This could easily be the title of McCarthy's autobiography as she recounts all that crap roles she took after Bridesmaids and rediscovers her acting chops in this gem. It truly captures the spiraling torment of a career on the wrong side of the curve with a dark and snowy NYC as its backdrop. Grant, as Israel's only human connection, sashays through the film with a veneer of bravado and devil-may-care panache and is a perfect foil for McCarthy. Well played indeed! (11-10-18)

John C
John C

Super Reviewer

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