Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer (and cat lover) who made her living in the 1970's and 80's profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estée Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen.
When Lee found herself unable to get published because she had fallen out of step with the marketplace, she turned her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant).
His performance and character remind one of his seminal 1987 black comedy ‘Withnail and I’ (but in a more tragi-comedic way), while she is a revelation, almost unrecognisable, in more than one sense of the word, from her previous big-screen outings. Just like Bart Leyton's brilliant ‘American Animals’, this is a thriller that revels in the incompetence and flaws of its protagonists.
A gem of a film.