TIFF 2018 Review: “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (2018) ★★★★


Melissa McCarthy has always been a talented actress, albeit not one of my favorites. Probably it’s because it’s easy to tell her potential, how great a dramatic actress she can be if she wants and we need to see that rather than her forgettable comedies which can irritate any person. But that has changed with “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”. In this movie, even though the chances to get nominated are not that high, she delivers a powerful performance, leaving us wanting more from now on.

Melissa McCarthy portrays Lee Israel, a woman whose stardom has disappeared because of her difficult personality. Agents no longer call her and nobody else wants to buy her book. Struggling to make her ends meet, the woman finds herself in a very tricky position when she sells one of the original letters so that she could take her sick cat to the vet. Since that moment, she starts forging letters of dead celebrities, presenting them as if they were real, and starts making money through the scam.

“Can You Forgive Me?” directed by Marielle Heller is a sad portrayal of how far human beings can go to earn a dollar to buy some food. Indeed, in Lee Israel’s situation, it’s not like she was on the edge of starvation, but she could’ve potentially gotten kicked out from the apartment she rents due to her inability to pay the landlord rent for three months. As for Melisa McCarthy’s performance, in this movie she finally shows her acting chops, displaying that she can manage any type of role and express all sorts of emotions if required.

That said, we truly need that level of dedication from her as not all of us might enjoy her comedies, but for me I am certain, from now on I won’t miss any movie she stars in. After all, if she managed this one, she can portray any character she wants. Let’s just wait and see. It’ll be worth it.

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