Sundance documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story, from director Jeff Feuerzeig, tells the fascinating story of Laura Albert, who posed for years as wunderkind author JT LeRoy, amassing a cult following and celebrity friends before being exposed as an entirely different persona.
“That Feuerzeig can navigate this hall of mirrors so cleanly and effectively is positively supernatural,” writes Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri. “We’re never bored or confused during Author. We get brief reenactments, animated interludes, home movies, glimpses from films both random and pertinent. But Author’s core, the thing that holds it all together, is twofold: Albert herself, interviewed on camera, talking in frank detail about her life and work; and those scrupulously recorded phone conversations, most of them as JT, with everybody from her shrinks and her publishers to (later) her celebrity friends and collaborators. It’s an ingenious approach, for it takes the film out of the realm of exposé or straight journalism and essentially turns it into a poetically inflected conversation between Laura Albert and JT LeRoy — a kind of freewheeling meditation on the liminal self. The resulting film is wildly entertaining and informative, but also alive and ever-changing, provoking new questions at each turn.”