Academy Award nominee Melissa McCarthy gets serious in the first trailer for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, the follow-up from Marielle Heller, whose debut The Diary of a Teenage Girl earned her critical acclaim and a DGA nomination for First Feature in 2016.
McCarthy plays real-life bio-author Lee Israel who penned lavish best sellers on the lives of celebrities like Estée Lauder and Tallulah Bankhead. Eventually, Israel’s style begins to fall out of favor. “Nobody is going to pay for the writer Lee Israel right now,” her agent says. When her funds dry up, Israel resorts to some shady dealings in order to make ends meet. While perusing a library for new source material she happens upon a letter signed by Fanny Brice. She sells the letter for a small price but learns that the buyer would be willing to pay a high price for saltier and saucier material. This inspired Israel to begin a short term career as a big time forger of letters of famous people.
Featuring what looks to be a major turn from Melissa McCarthy and a long-int-career breakthrough for Richard E. Grant as her friend-turned-competitor, this story, adapted from Israel’s own memoir by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me? feels like a pretty solid awards contender.
Fox Searchlight must be feeling very good about the film to debut the trailer and poster this early. Last year, they dropped Three Billboards at about this time (far ahead of festival run and November release) and that turned out pretty well for them.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? hits theaters on October 19th. Here is the trailer and poster.