Mere weeks after Melissa McCarthy crashed and burned at the box office with The Happytime Murders, the actress is now earning some serious Oscar buzz and could be a frontrunner in the Best Actress category. This comes after her latest movie, Can You Ever Forgive Me? premiered at this year's Telluride Film Festival. The movie was received incredibly well and now, several experts are predicting McCarthy will go on to be nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards this year.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? sees Melissa McCarthy ditching her typical comedic persona for something far more serious and grounded. The result is apparently something to behold. Though there are only a few critics takes available online currently, there doesn't seem to be a bad one yet. Variety calls it, "McCarthy's best performance to date" and that sentiment seems to be a common one. Following the screening, several experts who track awards season carefully are predicting McCarthy will earn her second Oscars nomination and her first ever in the Best Actress category, with two of these experts going so far as to say she'll not only be nominated, but will win.
Can You Forgive Me? tells the true story of best-selling celebrity biographer (and friend to cats) Lee Israel, played by Melissa McCarthy, who made her living in the 1970's and 80's profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, forging letters from literary legends and selling them for large sums of money. Her loyal friend Jack, played by Richard E. Grant, helps her along the way. Grant, who was recently cast in Star Wars 9, for his part, also earned a great deal of praise.
Paul Feig's 2011 comedy hit Bridesmaids introduced Melissa McCarthy to the masses and she became an instant standout, ultimately earning a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Academy Awards for her performance. In the years since, she's remained popular, with her movies regularly doing well at the box office. Though, the comedy has become stale for many and the shine had started to fade in the wake of movies like The Boss and Life of the Party, which were more of the same. But the talent is apparently still there and just needed the right project to bring it out. Luckily, director Marielle Heller was able to bring it out of McCarthy. Here's what the filmmaker had to say about McCarthy's role in the movie.
"Oh, she knew she was going out on a limb, for sure...One of the things that was very different was this was not a movie with improv. She has always been an incredible actress, but she knew she was doing something different."
Awards season is just now ramping up, with the Venice Film Festival going on currently and the Toronto International Film Festival just around the corner. Despite that, expect to see Can You Ever Forgive Me? to be part of the conversation until the Oscar nominations are announced later this year. This news originated over at Gold Derby.