Movie: Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

All the spoilers all the time.  You have been warned!

My Thoughts While Watching:

The first ten minutes could’ve been me.  The rest, not so much.

I wonder, other than alcoholism, what mental illnesses did she have?  I have difficulty with conflict in movies. I have left a room during scenes I knew that were going to be awkward or uncomfortable. This entire movie left me feeling the need to leave the room.  But I persisted.  I was so happy when it finally made it to the court scene because I knew it would be over soon.  Not because it was a bad movie but because of the angst the movie created for me.

I loved the colors used in the city scenes of New York City. I loved the music throughout.  I found the movie was very slow paced for the first three quarters of the movie.  The last quarter of the movie made me a nervous (and sad) wreck.

Melissa McCarthy did a beautiful job portraying Israel.  Good luck to her at the Oscars.

Some Interviews and Extra Video:

IMDB Synopsis: When Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.


Melissa McCarthy Melissa McCarthy Lee Israel
Richard E. Grant Richard E. Grant Jack Hock
Dolly Wells Dolly Wells Anna
Ben Falcone  Ben Falcone Alan Schmidt
Gregory Korostishevsky  Gregory Korostishevsky Andre
Jane Curtin Jane Curtin Marjorie
Stephen Spinella Stephen Spinella Paul

Director: Marielle Heller


My ranking scores –

0-19 Levels of: Ugh

20-39 Levels of: Meh (aka I cannot reach the remote)

40-59 Levels of: I don’t hate it?

60-85 Levels of: That was solid.

86-100 Levels of: I Loved It!

I rank this movie an 86.01 !



Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 98% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 83% liking it.  Average Rating: 4/5 with a number of User Ratings: 1,836.

Movie Reviews:

Specs:  Release date: 2 Nov 2018 (USA) / Runtime: 106 minutes / Budget: $?M

IMDB Trivia:

  • A pile of Lee Israel books (“Beyond the Magic”, an unauthorized biography of Estée Lauder) are shown on sale at a bookstore for 75% off. Lauder was publishing her own memoirs and initially tried to pay Israel *not* to write her book, but she refused and rushed her book to publication. The autobiography was released in October 1985 and Israel’s biography one month later. The book buying public chose to buy the Lauder autobiography rather than the Israel biography. Lee Israel later said she regretted not taking the money when it was first offered.
  • Features the only Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominated performance of the year in a film not nominated for Best Picture.
  • In reality, Lee Israel and Jack Hock never reunited or communicated by phone after the FBI arrested him for acting as her accomplice. A few months before his death from an HIV-related cause (1994), she saw him in the waiting area of a Manhattan medical clinic for poor people. According to Lee’s memoir that inspired the movie, she had the urge to trip Jack after he stood up from his seat, but she restrained herself. He did not see her.
  • Although he portrays an alcoholic, Richard E. Grant is allergic to alcohol in real life.
  • Filmed over a 28-day period in Manhattan, New York.
  • As the closing credits start, they move to the left side of the screen and information about the protagonists appears on the right.
  • Closing credits appear onscreen as if typewritten.

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