\nCan You Ever Forgive Me? is based on a confessional memoir by New York Times best-selling author and better-known forger Lee Israel. Hard-headed, crass and outspoken, the film finds Israel several months behind on rent, a glass of scotch always in-hand.\n\nShe realizes that she can use her knowledge of old writers to craft and sell fake personal letters from famous authors to a discerning class of collectors of literary memorabilia. Israel befriends an equally coarse, equally deceitful – but, in a brutally honest way – almost equally charming accomplice who aids her in her crime.\n\nThe film’s appeal is in its honesty towards Israel and Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of her. She is offered no glamour, no condolence. And we are left with the uncomfortable truth at the core of many art scandals: that the true artist’s work is worth more if it is signed by someone else.