Can You Ever Forgive Me? appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 sets. Even within the parameters of SD-DVD, this seemed like a pretty mediocre presentation.
Sharpness was adequate at best. Closeups showed decent delineation, whereas wider shots appeared fairly soft and tentative.
Jagged edges and shimmering were only a minor problem, and I saw no print flaws. Occasional edge haloes interfered with the image, though.
Colors seemed low-key, with an emphasis on teal and amber. These choices felt less than exciting, but the DVD represented them in a passable manner.
Blacks provided reasonable depth, while shadows appeared fairly smooth. Ultimately, the image felt decent but no better than that, as it seemed somewhat mushy.
As for the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Forgive, it failed to make much of an impression. The soundfield gave us mild ambience at most, without much use of the various channels.
This meant it focused on the front speakers and didn’t bring us much in terms of scope. That said, the soundscape seemed perfectly adequate for a character drama of this sort.
Audio quality was fine. Speech came across as natural and concise, and effects demonstrated passable delineation. They had little to do but they seemed acceptable.
Music appeared good, as the score and songs came across with nice range. Nothing exceptional occurred, but the mix felt appropriate for the movie.
The disc includes an array of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director Marielle Heller and actor Melissa McCarthy. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, editing and music, sets and locations, and general thoughts.
For the most part, this becomes a likable chat. At times, it feels a bit light on cinematic insights, and it’d have been nice to learn more about the movie’s fiction vs. the real-life facts. Still, McCarthy adds some humor and we learn just enough to make the track worth a listen.
Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 49 seconds. One offers a simple outtake, but others offer a bit more of Lee’s day to day life. I can’t claim any of these feel important, but they’re entertaining, especially when we see an awful job Lee tried to endure.
We can watch these with or without commentary from Heller. She gives us notes about the sequences and why she cut them.
Four Promotional Featurettes appear. We find “Elevator Pitch” (1:39), “Becoming Lee Israel” (1:42), “Likely Friends” (1:43) and “A Literary World” (2:11).
Across these, we hear from Heller, McCarthy, producer Anne Carey, costume designer Arjun Bhasin, production designer Stephen Carter and actor Richard E. Grant. They give us basics about story, characters, performances and design in these forgettable snippets.
Two Galleries show up as well: “Unit Photography” (31 frames) and “Lee Israel Letters” (14). “Unit” is fairly forgettable, but the “Letters” are fun to see – or they would be if the DVD resolution didn’t make some of them tough to read.
The disc opens with ads for The Favourite, The Old Man and The Gun and The Sisters Brothers. Sneak Peeks adds clips for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape Of Water. We also find the trailer for Forgive.
Buoyed by a strong lead performance from Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? manages to succeed. Despite a mix of genre clichés, the movie stays involving and bright. The DVD brings bland visuals as well as adequate audio and some useful supplements. I like Forgive but wish Fox had produced a Blu-ray version, as this DVD’s iffy picture quality doesn’t serve the movie well.