Can You Ever Forgive Me?
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At first glance, Can You Ever Forgive Me? might seem like another true crime story. However, the movie depicts how imposter syndrome, loneliness, and extreme insecurity led author, Lee Israel, to forge letters written by famous writers. From a psychological point, the film highlights how taking on an ‘alter-ego’ made Israel feel special and capable, and how these very addictive feelings led her into a world of fraud and dishonesty.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? addresses how poverty, desperation, and feeling invisible can seduce someone into creating a false reality, leading them to do unthinkable things. Digging beyond the story of Israel’s forgery, the film provides an in-depth look at how Israel’s inability to love others as well as herself led her down a path of criminal behavior – and how self-honesty ultimately helped her speak the truth.
Anyone interested in psychology and how antisocial behavior can lead to self-destruction. Those working in creative fields may also relate to Israel’s struggle to land a book deal and earn a decent living.
The movie touches on sensitive topics, such as alcoholism and substance use. A heavy film, it might not be the best choice if you’re looking for something more uplifting.