The first trailer for Can You Ever Forgive Me? features Melissa McCarthy taking on a dramatic role where she’s almost unrecognizable. The movie is based off a true story about failed writer Lee Israel who gets into forging letters from celebrities and famous authors, which she starts to sell after finding herself in a tight money situation. There’s some heavy duty acting going on and one can easily imagine Can You Ever Forgive Me? getting some buzz for awards season.
The trailer for Can You Ever Forgive Me? begins with Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, stating that she’s months behind on her rent while admitting that her cat is sick. She’s seen trying to sell books back to a bookstore for some extra cash, which she is only partly successful. It’s here that we get a hint that she’s not the most successful writer in the world when the clerk behind the counter points to her books on a 75 percent off table. If that’s not enough, her agent recommends that she find a new way to make money.
After finding s signed letter in an old book, Melissa McCarthy can be seen going to a bookstore to try and sell the letter, only to find out that it wasn’t personal enough to fetch more money. In the movie and real-life, Lee Israel took the letter back home to embellish it and then attempt to sell it again. After she was successful, she starts to fully forge all kinds of letters and the dough finally starts to roll in, only for it all to unravel.
Richard E. Grant is Melissa McCarthy’s bar friend in Can You Ever Forgive Me? and the two have an instant chemistry that is evident even in the brief clip. While the story is readily available to read just about anywhere, the trailer keeps everything interesting and moving along with McCarthy’s quirky dramatic portrayal of Lee Israel. The Diary of a Teenage Girl director, Marielle Heller, helms Can You Ever Forgive Me? and takes the pretty nutty story and steers it towards the more dramatic pieces of the real-life story, which is based off of Lee Israel’s autobiography.
Lee Israel forged hundreds of letters by deceased authors and celebrities for quite a while before she got caught up in the big mess. A quick visit to the Lee Israel Wikipedia page even has a brutally honest title of: “American Forger.” There’s a lot of story to tell in Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Melissa McCarthy and Marielle Heller have taken the character in terms of her pride of her forgeries. Lee Israel was not bashful about being excited about how her forgeries were received after being shut down for her own writing for so long. You can check out the first trailer for Can You Ever Forgive Me? below, courtesy of the Fox Searchlight YouTube channel.