Grace and I are rewatching the brilliant Can You Ever Forgive Me? on this Caturday night and once again are appalled it didn’t score a best picture or best director Oscar nom. Its nostalgia for 90s NYC–which was all about nostalgia for midcentury Manhattan and paying the cultural piper– is pitch-perfect, as is Melissa McCarthy as Israel, reminding us what a terrific actress she can be when her husband doesn’t have his meat hooks in her projects. (He does have his standard cameo, no doubt written into her contract.) Also nice to be reminded screenwriter Nicole Holofcener’s misanthropy still appeals when she’s not at the helm. Doubly nice to watch Richard E. Grant sink his bad English teeth into a role worthy of bleaching and orthodonture. And it would have been nice if at least one outstanding 2018 female director had been acknowledged by the Academy. You deserved better, Marielle Heller.
Also of note (personally at least): It’s appalling how much I identify with Lee Israel at this juncture in my life. Middle-aged writer who prefers cats to people, has done a much better job ingratiating herself to the former category of mammal, is financially desperate and abjectly terrible at holding down desk jobs and playing nice: check, check, check. Ah, well. Favorite footnote of the film pictured at right. Nora Ephron’s widely revered sense of humor apparently not so intact when she’s the butt (of the joke, relax).