It’s 1991 and biographer Lee Israel (McCarthy) is out of work and out of money. While researching a project on Fanny Brice, she comes upon a signed letter by the comedienne and sells it to a memorabilia collector. She quickly realizes there is money to be made in forging letters and signatures. With the help of fellow barfly Jack Hock (Grant), Lee sets up shop counterfeiting witty correspondence from the likes of Noel Coward and Dorothy Parker.
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty adapt Israel’s own confessional autobiography into this Oscar nominated screenplay that brims with humor and pathos. Both leads were nominated for Academy Awards for their winning, charismatic performances; their sardonic, booze-fueled banter a cinematic highlight. It’s nice to see McCarthy show her range in a welcome departure from her usual broad comedy. Don’t miss this smart, sharp drama from talented director Heller.