Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Can You Ever Forgive Me?2018

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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Melissa McCarthy
as Lee Israel
Richard E. Grant
as Jack, Jack Hock
Jane Curtin
as Marjorie
Ben Falcone
as Alan Schmidt
Pun Bandhu
as Agent Doyle
Erik LaRay Harvey
as Agent Solanas
Marcella Lowery
as Guest at Party
Roberta Wallach
as Tom Clancy Groupie
Sandy Rosenberg
as Yale Librarian
Kevin Carolan
as Tom Clancy
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News & Interviews for Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Critic Reviews for Can You Ever Forgive Me?

All Critics (299) | Top Critics (47)

This film takes an altogether different view of the imitation game. By embracing frauds and failures, it achieves greatness on the sly.

February 4, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The revelation of McCarthy's turn is that she's just allowed to be, without apology, without schmaltz.

February 1, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Every beat of the film is just so, its portraiture as rich as the characters themselves are barely solvent.

January 31, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

We can't believe the two got away with it for so long. But simultaneously we will them on.

January 31, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty is well structured, witty and poignant. The funniest moments tend to be the most painful or humiliating ones.

January 30, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

McCarthy is very good at showing how Lee's unpleasant bad temper and rudeness were not simply part of her psychological makeup: they were symptoms of existential panic.

January 30, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant as terribly witty rejects who find each other moping in the dregs of self-medication in the bowels of New York City. As effective a personality study as you are ever to see, this work resonates long after the credits roll as an American Masterpiece Theater, an answer to the question: what happens to wasted talent in the Land Of Opportunity? Must see, and proof that New York City still has something to say.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Mad props to Melissa McCarthy for turning it around with this after Happytime Murders and Life of the Party. Actually after basically every single thing I've seen her in up until this point. I honestly can't think of a single role I've liked her in. Until Lee Israel of course, because as her, in this, McCarthy is great. Respect for Richard E. Grant in the supporting role as well. It took me a little while after I'd finished watching Can You Ever Forgive Me? to realise I liked it as much as I did, but I did.

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer

The impression I have is that this is a film struggling to find something to say with the material it has, but the result, however dull at times, manages to be enjoyable and interesting thanks to McCarthy and Grant, who are both too good and have an excellent chemistry together.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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