Can you ever forgive me?

A film by Mari­el­le Hel­ler. In Eng­lish with Ger­man sub­tit­les.

[Credits] [Ter­mi­ne] [Trai­ler]

Fol­lo­wing the cri­ti­cal and com­mer­ci­al fail­u­re of her bio­gra­phy of Estée Lau­der, aut­hor Lee Isra­el strug­gles with finan­ci­al trou­bles, writer’s block and alco­ho­lism. With her agent unab­le to secu­re her an advan­ce for a new bio­gra­phy, Isra­el is forced to sell her pos­ses­si­ons to cover her expen­ses; she sells a per­so­nal let­ter she recei­ved from Katha­ri­ne Hepburn to Anna, a local book dea­ler.
While con­duc­ting rese­arch for a novel about Fan­ny Bri­ce, Isra­el hap­pens upon a let­ter from Bri­ce fold­ed in a book, which she takes and offers to sell to Anna. She offers Isra­el a low pri­ce due to the letter’s lack of inte­res­ting con­tent. Isra­el begins to for­ge and sell let­ters by decea­sed wri­ters, play­w­rights, and actors, lacing them with inti­ma­te details to com­mand a hig­her pri­ce. Anna, who is a fan of Israel’s own wri­ting, attempts to initia­te a roman­tic rela­ti­ons­hip with her, but is rebuf­fed.
When one of Israel’s let­ters writ­ten by Noël Coward rai­ses sus­pi­ci­on for its unguar­ded dis­cus­sion of his sexua­li­ty, she is black­listed by her buy­ers. Unab­le to sell the for­ge­ries herself, she has her fri­end Jack Hock sell the let­ters for her, and later ste­als authen­tic let­ters from libra­ry archi­ves to sell. After her cat dies under Jack’s care during one such theft, Isra­el ends their fri­endship, but con­ti­nues their part­nership out of neces­si­ty.
Jack is caught by the FBI during a sale who, with Jack’s coope­ra­ti­on, ser­ve Isra­el with a court sum­mons for for­ge­ry. She retains a lawy­er, who advi­ses her to show con­tri­ti­on by get­ting a job, doing com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice, and joi­ning Alco­ho­lics Anony­mous. In court, Isra­el con­fes­ses that she enjoy­ed making the for­ge­ries and does not reg­ret her actions, but that her cri­mes were not worth it becau­se the let­ters do not show her true self as a wri­ter. She is sen­ten­ced to five years of pro­ba­ti­on and six mon­ths of house arrest.
Some­time later, Isra­el recon­ci­les with Jack – who is now dying of AIDS – and asks his per­mis­si­on to wri­te a memoir about their for­ge­ries, to which he agrees. She pas­ses a store win­dow and sees a let­ter she for­ged by Doro­thy Par­ker on sale for $1,900. Dis­gus­ted, she wri­tes the store owner a sar­castic let­ter from the decea­sed „Doro­thy Par­ker”. Rea­li­zing the let­ter is a fake, the owner goes to remo­ve it, but pla­ces it back whe­re it was after rea­ding it.


US 2018, 107 Min., engl. OmU,
Regie: Mari­el­le Hel­ler,
Buch Nico­le Holof­ce­ner, Jeff Wit­ty basie­rend auf der Auto­bio­gra­fie von Lee Isra­el
Kame­ra: Bran­don Trost
Schnitt: Anne McCa­be
mit: Melis­sa McCar­thy, Richard E. Grant, Ben Fal­co­ne  


  • noch kei­ne oder kei­ne mehr