I wasn’t surprised that Melissa McCarthy would give a devastatingly brilliant performance as Lee Israel. There has always been a deep edge to her comedic work. Her eyes show the complex desperation that Lee experienced as a blocked and broke writer who turns to high class forgery. You can’t look away when Melissa is on screen. She roars. She breaks your soul. She is at the top of her art. The film tries to keep up with her. The pacing lags during too numerous drinking scenes. And I’ve had enough of seeing a writer at the typewriter. The supporting players punch up this dark comedy. What a joy to see Jane Curtin on the cinema screen. Richard E. Grant does what he can as the gay friend sidekick. Anne Deavere Smith as Lee Israel’s ex gives a bittersweet turn. Attention will be paid to this film during the year end critic and academy award nominating selections.