MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 30, 2018: Best 2018 #MOTWs

motw logo 1-35.AWFJ’s Movie of the Week focuses attention on excellent films directed by women and/or centered on the stories of complex and fully realized women characters who are grappling — directly or metaphorically — with the issues women face in daily life. From January 1 to November 23 of this year, we have designated 48 Movie of the Week films. All of these have had strong women characters and 36 of them have been directed by women. We heartily applaud the variety of style and story, we honor the moviemakers who’ve brought them to the screen. As year end holidays approach and the movie awards season heats up, Team #MOTW members revisit our selections to suggest their favorites for immediate viewing.

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CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? – Review by Diane Carson

Can You Ever Forgive Me? highlights Melissa McCarthy’s dramatic gifts. We who know Melissa McCarthy as a brilliantly talented comedic actress will expand our categorization with her dramatic performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? McCarthy plays the real-life Lee Israel, in her fifties, living in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, eking out a living writing biographical histories. Tough times and her abrasive personality propel her into a downturn.

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Melissa McCarthy on Getting Serious in CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? – Jessica Zack interviews

Creating a cache of brazen characters “from the outside in” has always come naturally to Melissa McCarthy because, she says, “I’m someone who just throws it all out there. This probably isn’t a surprise to anyone, but I’m not guarded.” Given her natural inclination to be brash and lead with a smile, McCarthy said portraying her latest character, the infamously gruff biographer turned literary forger Lee Israel, in the new movie Can You Ever Forgive Me? required a totally different approach.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 19, 2018: CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Melissa McCarthy trades pratfalls and slapstick for wry wit and introspection in Marielle Heller’s keenly observed biopic “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” McCarthy plays biographer Lee Israel, whose brief time in the Manhattan publishing scene’s spotlight has passed, leaving her bitter, lonely, and strapped for cash, which ultimately leads to a life of literary crime. It’s a compelling role for McCarthy, who seems to relish the opportunity to take on more serious material.

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CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? — Review by Cate Marquis

Melissa McCarthy gives a commanding performance in a rare dramatic role based on the true story of Lee Israel, a one-time New York Times bestselling biographer in the ’70s and ’80s, who has fallen on hard times and turns to a life of crime as a forger of letters from literary greats such as Noel Coward and Dorothy Parker.

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CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? – Review by Anne Brodie

Melissa McCarthy’s extraordinary performance as Lee Israel, the literary swindler and forger, is inspired, complete and unforgettable. Her portrayal of the Hollywood biographer turned criminal is touched with genius. She’s not sympathetic and she certainly doesn’t become sympathetic, but McCarthy’s touching hardass earns our attention as a wounded person with no idea how to reign herself in.

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