Can You Ever Forgive Me? (15)



Comedy (2018)
106mins US

Starring: Dolly Wells, Melissa McCarthy, Richard E Grant, Jane Curtin
Director: Marielle Heller
Writer(s): Jeff Whitty, Nicole Holofcener
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Lee Israel is three months behind on the rent for the apartment she shares with her beloved cat Jersey. Unable to pay for groceries, Lee sells one of her prized possessions - a framed letter from actress Katharine Hepburn - to local bookseller Anna for 175 dollars. The voracious appetite for literary memorabilia sows the seed of an outrageous idea: Lee can use her knowledge of famous writers to forge typewritten and signed correspondence from various literary wags.

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LondonNet Film Review
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (15)

What's in a name? A tidy profit if you're a professional autograph hunter who waits patiently at stage doors or along film premiere red carpets, gathering celebrity signatures which can be sold to collectors with a certificate of authenticity. Based on the book by Lee Israel, Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a comedy drama set in early 1990s New York City about one enterprising forger who dug herself out of a deep financial hole by inventing signed correspondence from the likes of Noel Coward, Dorothy Parker and Tennessee Williams...

Can You Ever Forgive Me?. Copyright: 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Caption: Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel in Can You Ever Forgive Me? directed by Marielle Heller. Photo: Mary Cybulski. All Rights Reserved.Collectors were willing to pay top dollar for letters containing personal titbits and Israel exploited this market in collectable literary artefacts for personal gain. Director Marielle Heller's picture dramatises the criminal enterprise with warmth and wit, based on a script co-written by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty which provides the Oscar-nominated leads with a feast of glittering one-liners. Melissa McCarthy milks sympathy for her self-absorbed misanthrope, who boasts "I can't get caught. Fools get caught," thereby ensuring her downfall when the FBI rumbles her scam. Richard E Grant harks back to his glory days in Withnail And I to portray a foul-mouthed gay lush who lives from day to day on charm and street smarts, and acts as a fence for the letters.

When we meet Lee (McCarthy), she is about to be fired from her latest dead-end job for unruly conduct. Lee is three months behind on the rent for the apartment she shares with her beloved cat Jersey, and her most recent biography, Estee Lauder: Behind The Magic, is being heavily discounted to shift unsold copies. Unable to pay for groceries, Lee sells one of her prized possessions - a framed letter from actress Katharine Hepburn - to local bookseller Anna for 175 dollars. The voracious appetite for literary memorabilia sows the seed of an outrageous idea: Lee can use her knowledge of famous writers to forge typewritten and signed correspondence from various literary wags. She foolishly enlists the help of a boozy accomplice, Jack Hock (Grant), a self-confessed renegade and rebel who has been banned from several local bookshops. "I have a little shoplifting problem," he confides with a twinkle in his eye.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? pivots deliciously on the fractious relationship between Lee and Jack. In scenes of verbal sparring, Grant and McCarthy light up the screen, the latter delivering the most compelling and layered dramatic performance of her career. There is also an eye-catching supporting role for Jane Curtin as Lee's glamorous literary agent, who drily informs her client: "Nobody needs a new biography on Fanny Brice, Lee." We certainly needed this darkly humorous account of Lee's unlikely rise and fall, and director Heller delivers her final draft with a flourish.

- Jo Planter

Can You Ever Forgive Me?. Copyright: 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Caption: Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel in Can You Ever Forgive Me? directed by Marielle Heller. Photo: Mary Cybulski. All Rights Reserved.


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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 15th February
To Thursday 21st February

- Ballincollig, The Reel Picture
- Bath, Little Theatre Cinema Picturehouse
- Belfast, Movie House Dublin Road
- Belfast, Queen's Film Theatre
- Birmingham, The Electric Cinema
- Blackpool, The Reel Picture
- Bolton, Cineworld Bolton
- Bolton, Vue Bolton
- Bradford, Picturehouse Bradford At The National Media Museum
- Brighton, Cineworld Brighton
- Brighton, Komedia
- Bristol, Cineworld Bristol
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Cribbs Causeway
- Cambridge, Arts Picturehouse
- Canterbury, Curzon Canterbury
- Cardiff, Chapter
- Cardiff, Cineworld Cardiff
- Carlow, IMC Carlow
- Cleethorpes, Parkway Cinema
- Colchester, Curzon Colchester
- Coleford, Studio Cinema
- Cork, Cork Omniplex
- Cromer, Regal Movieplex
- Derby, Derby QUAD
- Dorking, Dorking Halls
- Dublin, Dublin Rathmines Omniplex
- Dublin, IMC Santry
- Dublin, Movies @ Dundrum
- Dublin, Movies @ Swords
- Dublin, Savoy
- Dublin, Vue Dublin
- Dun Laoghaire, IMC Dun Laoghaire
- Eastleigh, Vue Eastleigh
- Edinburgh, Filmhouse
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Ocean Terminal
- Ellesmere Port, Vue Cheshire Oaks
- Exeter, Exeter Picturehouse
- Falmouth, Phoenix Cinema
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Renfrew Street
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Silverburn
- Harrogate, Everyman Harrogate
- Helston, Flora
- Hemel Hempstead, Cineworld Hemel Hempstead
- Henley-on-Thames, Regal Picturehouse
- Ilfracombe, Embassy Cinema
- Inverness, Eden Court
- Kingsbridge, Kings Cinema
- Knutsford, Curzon Knutsford
- Leeds, Vue Leeds The Light
- Liverpool, Picturehouse At FACT
- Manchester, HOME
- Manchester, Odeon Manchester Great Northern
- Manchester, Vue Manchester Printworks
- Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyneside Cinema
- Norwich, Cinema City Picturehouse
- Okehampton, Carlton Cinema
- Oxford, Curzon Oxford
- Oxford, Phoenix Picturehouse
- Oxford, Vue Oxford
- Penzance, Savoy
- Plymouth, Vue Plymouth
- Portsmouth, Vue Portsmouth
- Prestatyn, Scala Cinema
- Pwllheli, Neuadd Dwyfor
- Renfrew, Odeon Braehead
- Ripon, Curzon Ripon
- Sheffield, Curzon Sheffield
- Sheffield, The Light Cinema, Sheffield
- Southampton, Harbour Lights Picturehouse
- Stirling, MacRobert Arts Centre
- St Ives, The Royal
- Stratford-upon-Avon, Stratford Picturehouse
- Thanet, Vue Westwood Cross
- Thurso, Thurso Cinema
- Uckfield, Picturehouse Uckfield
- Watford, Vue Watford
- York, City Screen Picturehouse
- York, Vue York
From Friday 22nd February
To Thursday 28th February

- Ashford, Ashford Picturehouse
- Aylesbury, Odeon Aylesbury
- Ballincollig, The Reel Picture
- Barnsley, Parkway Cinema
- Bath, Little Theatre Cinema Picturehouse
- Belfast, Movie House Dublin Road
- Belfast, Odeon Belfast
- Belfast, Queen's Film Theatre
- Birmingham, Odeon Birmingham New Street
- Birmingham, The Electric Cinema
- Blackpool, Odeon Blackpool
- Blackpool, The Reel Picture
- Bolton, Cineworld Bolton
- Bolton, Vue Bolton
- Bootle, Odeon Liverpool Switch Island
- Bournemouth, Odeon Bournemouth BH2
- Bradford, Picturehouse Bradford At The National Media Museum
- Brighton, Duke Of York's Picturehouse
- Brighton, Komedia
- Brighton, Odeon Brighton
- Bristol, Cineworld Bristol
- Bristol, Everyman Bristol
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Cribbs Causeway
- Caernarfon, Galeri Caernarfon
- Camberley, Vue Camberley
- Cambridge, Arts Picturehouse
- Cardiff, Odeon Cardiff
- Chatham, Odeon Chatham
- Chelmsford, Odeon Chelmsford
- Colchester, Odeon Colchester
- Dublin, Movies @ Dundrum
- Dublin, Movies @ Swords
- Dublin, Savoy
- Dublin, Vue Dublin
- Dunfermline, Odeon Dunfermline
- Dun Laoghaire, IMC Dun Laoghaire
- Eastleigh, Vue Eastleigh
- Edinburgh, Cameo Picturehouse
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Wester Hailes
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Ocean Terminal
- Ellesmere Port, Vue Cheshire Oaks
- Epsom, Odeon Epsom
- Exeter, Exeter Picturehouse
- Gateshead, Odeon Metrocentre
- Gerrards Cross, Everyman Gerrards Cross
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Silverburn
- Glasgow, Odeon Glasgow Springfield Quay
- Glengormley, Movie House Glengormley
- Guildford, Odeon Guildford
- Halifax, Square Chapel Arts Centre
- Hatfield, Odeon Hatfield
- Henley-on-Thames, Regal Picturehouse
- Hereford, Odeon Hereford
- Hereford, The Courtyard Herefordshire's Centre For The Arts
- Hull, Odeon Hull
- Kettering, Odeon Kettering
- Kilmarnock, Odeon Kilmarnock
- Knutsford, Curzon Knutsford
- Leeds, Vue Leeds The Light
- Liverpool, Odeon Liverpool ONE
- Liverpool, Picturehouse At FACT
- Maidstone, Odeon Maidstone
- Manchester, HOME
- Milton Keynes, Odeon Milton Keynes Stadium
- Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyneside Cinema
- Norwich, Cinema City Picturehouse
- Norwich, Odeon Norwich
- Nottingham, Broadway Cinema
- Nuneaton, Odeon Nuneaton
- Oxford, Curzon Oxford
- Oxford, Odeon Oxford George Street
- Perth, Perth Playhouse
- Plymouth, Vue Plymouth
- Portsmouth, Odeon Port Solent
- Portsmouth, Vue Portsmouth
- Preston, Odeon Preston
- Preston, The Palace Cinema
- Ripon, Curzon Ripon
- Sheffield, Curzon Sheffield
- Sheffield, Odeon Sheffield
- Sheffield, The Light Cinema, Sheffield
- Southampton, Odeon Southampton
- Southend-on-Sea, Odeon Southend
- Stratford-upon-Avon, Stratford Picturehouse
- Tamworth, Odeon Tamworth
- Taunton, Odeon Taunton
- Telford, Odeon Telford
- Thanet, Vue Westwood Cross
- Torquay, Central Cinema
- Tunbridge Wells, Odeon Tunbridge Wells
- Uckfield, Picturehouse Uckfield
- Wallsend, Odeon Silverlink
- Watford, Vue Watford
- Winchester, Everyman Winchester
- Wrexham, Odeon Wrexham
- York, City Screen Picturehouse
- York, Vue York


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