In the true story Can You Ever Forgive Me, she plays author Lee Israel who made her fame in the 60s and 70s writing profiles and biographies of Katharine Hepburn and Tallulah Bankhead amongst others. In the early 80s she wrote an unauthorised biography about Estée Lauder, which was widely panned and effectively ended her career. Over the following years, Lee falls on hard times and becomes a broke, lonely and bitter alcoholic.
Catrin Cole (played by Gemma Arterton) appears married to a handsome but struggling artist/painter Ellis Cole (Jack Huston), and against his wishes decides to get a job in order to shore up the couple’s frail finances. She is hired as a writer to help the established writing team. Catrin is sent to investigate a potentially stirring tale of a pair of twin sisters who take their drink father’s boat to Dunkirk to help in the rescue, and concludes that, despite some serious issues, the material may make a flagship propaganda film.