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Fox Searchlight on Wednesday released the first trailer for its upcoming film, Can You Ever Forgive Me? The biopic stars Melissa McCarthy in a rare dramatic performance.

In the 1970s and 80s, things were pretty sweet for Lee Israel. The biographer profiled such big names as Katharine Hepburn and Estee Lauder. Of course, after two decades, Israel’s prose has fallen out of fashion, and she’s an out-of-work writer with burgeoning alcohol problems. Desperate for rent money, with no other alternatives (and almost by accident), Israel falls into the world of literary forgery. Let the hijinks ensue.

If Can You Ever Forgive Me? delivers on the promise of this first trailer, then Melissa McCarthy’s restrained lead performance could be talked about come awards time. Though she’s known for her outspoken comedy roles, McCarthy has not shied away from the occasional dramatic part as in 2014’s St. Vincent.

If Melissa McCarthy playing it straight isn’t your thing, you’re in luck. The prolific actor starred in college comedy Life of the Party earlier this year, and she’s got another one — R-rated puppet flick The Happytime Murders — scheduled for release later this year.

Enough Said writer-director Nicole Holofcener penned the movie’s script. Diary of a Teenage Girl helmer Marielle Heller directed.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? arrives in theaters on October 19.


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