You’re in Perth, the most liveable city in Western Australia and it’s the weekend. What are you going to do? How about checking out excellent cinema in a purpose-built outdoor location in groovy Leederville? It’s December, people. Time to stop selfishly thinking about your employment and concentrate on culture and refreshment under the stars. It says so in the Constitution (note: unresearched fact.)
Speaking of facts and how we see them, this weekend, the Luna Outdoor Cinema in Leederville has CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? an usual tale that deals with ambition and plagiarism.
A jaded, out-of-work biographer (Melissa McCarthy) resorts to selling forged historical letters on the black market and grapples with the ethical complications that arise, in Marielle Heller’s charming biopic about bestselling writer Lee Israel. Based on a true story, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? stars Academy Award nominee Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, the late biographer and forger whose brilliant tale of deception speaks volumes about our obsessions with celebrity and authenticity.
Sliding into middle age with no other skills to fall back on, Lee lights upon a fresh method of capitalizing on the public’s fascination with fame. Teaming up with an old acquaintance (a furiously charming Richard E. Grant) freshly released from prison after serving time for armed robbery, Lee begins selling the stolen and/or forged correspondence of dead writers and actors. The gig is a success but success has a way of drawing unwanted attention.
Adapted from Israel’s eponymous memoir by Tony Award-winning playwright Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) and writer-director Nicole Holofcener, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? is an incisive comment about commodification, legitimacy, and opportunities for women. McCarthy seizes the opportunity to expand her already-impressive repertoire: her performance here brims with intelligence, acerbic wit, and an alluring sense of mischief.
Find out why the movie was nominated for two Golden Globes: Best Actress, Melissa McCarthy; Best Supporting Actor, Richard E. Grant. Further details here.