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Can You Ever Forgive Me?

The true tale of literary forgery is currently in theaters.

Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

Metacritic score: 86

Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) directs Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, based on Lee Israel’s memoir of the same name. McCarthy plays Israel, a successful celebrity biographer who falls on dire financial straits in the early 1990s and later turns to literary forgery and theft. Richard E. Grant co-stars as her partner in crime, a grifter who’s dealing with his own demons.

The film probes serious matters — loneliness, addiction, illness, and trying to make a living — while also being thoroughly entertaining. It’s a delightfully misanthropic buddy heist that’s both solemn and light on its feet.