Friday, November 23, 2018

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (a movie review post)

My question as I'm sitting here staring at my screen and thinking about this movie is this:
Are comedians somehow more -- "qualified" is not exactly the word I want to use, maybe "adept"? -- more something, at any rate, than other actors in dramatic and tragic roles? They certainly seem better at disappearing into those roles than other actors. But, then, comedy has tragedy at its heart, so I suppose it makes sense.

What I know for certain is that Melissa McCarthy is great in her role as Lee Israel, a down on her luck author who turns to literary crime to support herself. I bet you didn't know literary crime was a thing, did you? At least not a thing you can make money at, but, then, you can look at some of the best sellers and see that, sometimes at least, crime really does pay. Of course, that's not the kind of crime I'm talking about here. Israel's crime was forging letters from famous, deceased authors and actors and selling them off to collectors.

To its credit, the movie did make me want to read the book it's based on... or, at least, it made me want to want to. Knowing myself, I know that I will never actually read it because I'm not quite curious enough to follow through on that, but, if I had the book right here in front of me, I would give it the chance to suck me in. After all, it is by and about an author and her author journey. Sort of.

Anyway... Melissa McCarthy. She's great. Funny, funny lady. We, my wife and I, love her, though I'm sure my wife loves her more. I'm not sure I would have been interested in seeing this movie without her in it. It's an interesting story, but McCarthy makes it captivating. Obviously, I never met Lee Israel, but it seems from the things I've read about Israel and the things she said about what she did
that McCarthy really captured her spirit. She's worth the movie, which is good since she's the star.

Richard Grant, who plays Israel's sidekick (of a sorts), is also wonderful. Charismatic and charming and, again, tragic. He captures it all. They're a good team. And their relationship is heartbreaking.

It's not my pick for Best Picture, but I do hope it gets nominated. And McCarthy for best actress. She deserves it. And she may be my pick for that category. You should probably see it.


  1. I don't think I've heard of that one, but now I want to watch it.

  2. Yeah, I want to see that one. Fascinating story, and McCarthy is always interesting to me.

  3. Oh wow, where have I been? I didn't know there was a movie based on the book!