The title of this film is actually a confessional memoir about the career of Lee Israel. An author and writer best know for the forgery of personal letters of celebrated writers like Noel Coward and Dorothy Parker.

Story: Adapted for the screen by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, is well planned.

Most adaptations of novels have no risk of being inaccurate… just not planned well. As in, taking the right information – the right amount of information – and organizing it so that the story gets told on the big screen without leaving out the important moments.

This film accomplishes that. The writers make it just interesting enough and capture this particular period of time. But it’s not necessarily riveting.

Performances: Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel is good. Not great… just good. I still saw Melissa McCarthy in the character. And Richard E. Jackson as her sidekick is campy enough to keep the drama and comedy going.

Jane Curtin’s brief scenes are interesting because of the banter between her and Israel once we find out that she’s her agent. But they don’t lead with that so… it takes a minute to realize WHY they interact with each other in their manner.

Visual: I feel like this might be a theme of this film… it’s not obvious what year/decade/time period this is… until you start to take note of the little elements like landline phones… and tube televisions.

The wardrobe was not necessarily of note; It was set in New York City, which, is timeless so there are no indications of the year. It always looks the same to me.

Rating: B-. This is a good film but as previously mentioned, how far can you really deviate from a true story? This is more about the content of this story and the absurdity of Lee Israel’s crimes.

I don’t really see any Oscar nomination here. See this if you’re a writer and want to see what desperation looks like as a writer…