Author: The JT LeRoy Story (2016)

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Critic Consensus: Author: The JT LeRoy Story serves as a worthy primer on its fascinating subject as well as an insightful look at the ever-evolving nature of modern celebrity.

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On January 9, 2006 The New York Times sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked "it boy" wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about a sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. It turned out LeRoy didn't actually exist. He was the creative expression of 40-year-old San Francisco former phone-sex operator turned housewife, Laura Albert. Author: The JT LeRoy Story takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert--like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids--breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert's epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but according to Albert, channeling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self-expression.

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Critic Reviews for Author: The JT LeRoy Story

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (20)

A highly compelling collage of stylish archival footage and recorded phone conversations that flesh out this notorious Catfish-like caper of the literary world.

Nov 28, 2018 | Full Review…

While Feuerzeig makes good visual and narrative use of the world's adulation and outrage over LeRoy and his eventual outing, all those fireworks are exploded solely to illuminate [the real subject, Laura] Albert.

Sep 21, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Feuerzeig's flashy narrative antics reduce a serious and substantial story to mere snippets of information.

Sep 19, 2016 | Full Review…

By turns fascinating and unseemly.

Sep 15, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

This documentary is well crafted but suffers from a deeply unsympathetic protagonist.

Sep 15, 2016 | Full Review…

Feuerzeig lets us put together the puzzle pieces of Albert's story. The film's final five minutes - a punch to the heart - make it all clear.

Sep 15, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Author: The JT LeRoy Story

Laura Albert never seems like the type of person capable of such a far reaching deception, especially since none of what she did was malicious or some Andy Kaufman-esque prank. A unspoken thesis in the documentary seems to be that narrative, not truth, is what moves the public. So many people wanted JT LeRoy to be real that they ignored their better judgement.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

STUNNING.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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