Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1hr 46m
Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant electrify a fascinating and blackly comic true story of literary fraud and desperate partners-in-crime.
In early 90s New York, Lee Israel is a struggling writer whose obscure biographical tastes and acidic lack of diplomacy have left her with few readers, and fewer friends. Struggling to keep her apartment clean and her cat alive, Lee slowly establishes a way of making money while still satisfying her creative urge: forging the letters of famous authors and selling them to bookshops.
Assisting her is Jack Hock (Grant), her mercurial, flamboyant and unscrupulous drinking partner who takes her place in selling the letters when her own image slowly becomes tarnished and the law starts to catch on to the scheme. Neither the director nor the lead actors are afraid of revealing the characters as lonely, self-seeking con artists, but still endear them to audiences through both daring wit and bleak pathos, as they barely keep each other from sinking under their own weaknesses and the indifference of others.
Without hiding the sad desperation of their lives, McCarthy and Grant make them complex and riveting.
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