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Can You Ever Forgive Me - DVD Review

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Can You Ever Forgive Me? - DVD

In 1991, New York biographer Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) finds herself in dire straits: she has lost her job, fallen 3 months behind on rent and can’t afford the vet bills for her beloved sick cat. Her agent (Jane Curtin) is less than helpful, ignoring Lee’s phone calls and even telling her to “find another way to make a living.” Desperate, Lee realizes she can make money by forging letters supposedly by literary figures like Noel Coward and Lillian Hellman. “I’m a better Dorothy Parker than Dorothy Parker,” she declares to her friend and later partner in crime, Jack (Richard Grant). The film is based on a true story; the real Lee Israel wrote a memoir by the same name (she died of cancer in 2014).

"a surprising, entertaining must-see."

The amazing Melissa McCarthy won an Academy Award for her prickly portrayal of Lee, an alcoholic lesbian with a defiant streak who likes cats more than people. Just when Lee starts to come across as sympathetic, she utters some line like, “I was so tempted to trip you just now.” Neither is she all that sorry about her crimes, even after the authorities catch on. “I can’t specifically say that I regret any of my actions,” she admits, adding that this has actually been the best time of her life. It’s fun to watch Lee play off Jack, her mischievous drinking buddy and confidante. She also strikes up a friendship with Anna (Dolly Wells), a sweet book dealer who buys some of her fraudulent letters. In both relationships, Lee stays guarded while revealing herself to be deeply lonely at the same time. She won’t allow herself to get more involved with Anna, and her eventual falling out with Jack is extra painful since she’d finally trusted someone.Can You Ever Forgive Me? - DVD

Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a black comedy and drama, one where you can’t help rooting for the protagonist no matter how awful she acts. It makes an ordinary story of literary forgery exciting and dramatic. There aren’t many Hollywood movies starring average-looking women of a certain age, especiallly ones as unlikeable as Lee. But this one is a hit. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film scores 98% on the Tomatometer. Richard Grant, too, won multiple awards for his role and the smaller parts are also played beautifully. Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t picture anyone else besides Melissa McCarthy playing Lee (originally, Julianne Moore was going to get the part). Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a surprising, entertaining must-see.

5/5 beers

Can You Ever Forgive Me? - DVD


DVD Details:

Home Video Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Available on DVD
- March 26, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: Subtitled
English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Discs: DVD Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A/1

Presented in a crisp 1080p transfer, the new 2k scan and restoration of the original negative is a thing of pristine beauty.  The film is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color.  It’s a cheap film, for sure, but the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.  Audio wise, the original uncompressed stereo audio for the film’s soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.  There are English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.



  • Commentary by Director Marielle Heller and Melissa McCarthy: Although it’s a little too self-congratulatory at times, this is full of intriguing tidbits about the movie’s filming process.

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Becoming Lee Israel
  • Likely Friends
  • A Literary World


Can You Ever Forgive Me? - DVD

MPAA Rating: R for language including some sexual references, and brief drug use.
106 mins
: Marielle Heller
Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty
Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells
: Drama | Biography
Her greatest work will be her biggest crime.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I have figured out a way to pay my bills, without shoveling shit, and it is a good feeling."
Theatrical Distributor:
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Official Site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/canyoueverforgiveme/
Release Date:
October 19, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 26, 2019
Synopsis: When Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.


Can You Ever Forgive Me? - DVD

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