Category: Reviews – New Releases/Festivals

Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

**** (out of 4)

Lee Israel was a writer whose life story is at once cautionary and perversely compelling. Although her books had once been New York Times bestsellers, Israel found herself struggling to pay rent by the 90s. Desperate, she turned to forgery, writing and selling what she claimed were authentic letters by luminaries like Noël Coward and Edna Ferber. The FBI eventually tracked Israel down and slapped her with a five-year probationary sentence. But she ultimately got the last laugh: her exploits provided the basis for a fairly well-received memoir, and two of her forgeries even appeared in an official collection of Coward’s letters.

Israel’s life is the subject of Marielle Heller’s new biopic, Can You Ever Forgive Me? If you hadn’t actually seen it, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the film is meant to be a sort of comedy.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals

Image courtesy of Bleecker Street.

Colette: ** ½
The Sisters Brothers: ****

Two recent films both had the misfortune of being tagged as “tonally uneven” by a number of publications.[1] The first, Wash Westmoreland’s Colette, is a biopic of Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley), a fin de siècle Frenchwoman who ghostwrote novels for her husband Willy (Dominic West). In Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers, on the other hand, two sibling assassins, Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix), are ordered to track down and kill a prospector (Riz Ahmed) during the California Gold Rush.

Even though both Colette and Sisters can be described as tonally inconsistent, this condition doesn’t affect the two films in the same way.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals