Movies: Author The JT Leroy Story

Neiman Marcus Last Call (Neiman Marcus)

by Robbie Tucker

Like meeting a sociopath at a party, my instinct was to squirm away during the first 10 minutes of Author: The JT Leroy Story. Then I couldn’t look away. This tale of artifice and the literary alias dreamed up by author Laura Albert had me riveted.

The hook was the filmmaking itself: a deceptive celebration of deception. You’re not sure what is true about what you’re watching. And then you don’t care, because it is that compelling. In his latest documentary, director Jeff Feuerzeig explores the thin, often confounding line between madness and creativity. (A similar thread runs through his previous quirky gems: The Devil and Daniel Johnston and Half Japanese.)

In the end, I felt sad; making a Lou Reed song at the credits appropriate. The movie features Winona Ryder, Billy Corgan, Mary Karr, and a splattering of famous folk who aren’t embarrassed to out themselves as fickle celebrity worshipers.

 

The Outrageous Sophie Tucker, Robbie Tucker, The Three TomatoesAbout the Reviewer: Robbie Tucker drove a ’55 two-toned Buick Roadmaster in San Francisco, where she started working in film production. She convinced Francis Coppola to let her work on the movie about her namesake, but moved to New York City before shooting began. When she’s not writing her own memoir, or ghost writing someone else’s, you can probably find her at the movies.

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