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Can You Ever Forgive Me?

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November’s Reel Reads Selection: Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger by 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. It’s the 1980s. After decades spent composing respectful profiles of successful women such as Katharine Hepburn and Tallulah Bankhead, Lee finds herself out of step with the emergent trash-talk trend in biography. Her new book about Estée Lauder is a commercial failure, her agent (Jane Curtin) has given up on her, and her finances have nosedived.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? comes from a place of understanding and love that few other biopics do, and it makes this difficult character a joy to meet.” – Monica Castillo, RogerEbert.com

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 ex-con acquaintance (Richard E. Grant), 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. Directed by Marielle Heller (Diary of a Teenage Girl) and adapted from Israel’s eponymous memoir by Tony Award-winning playwright Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) and writer/director Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), Can You Ever Forgive Me? is an incisive comment about commodification, legitimacy, and opportunities for women, driven by an acerbically powerful performance from McCarthy. (Dir. by Marielle Heller, 2018, USA, 107 mins., Rated R)

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November’s Reel Reads Selection! Purchase a copy of Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger by Lee Israel during the month of November and receive a special “Loft Reel Reads” discount off the cover price – 20% for Loft members and 10% for the general public. Copies of the book are available at The Loft Cinema and Antigone Books.