Two years after The Cult of JT LeRoy indicted the people who perpetrated the “JT LeRoy” literary charade, this documentary profile of the “real JT” — writer/would-be-performance-artist Laura Albert — explains it all away as an expression of Albert’s creativity. There was in fact no transgender, HIV-positive, idiot-savant hustler pulling the publicity strings, just an overweight, overlooked woman with a talent for deception as well as for storytelling. Be that as it may, writer-director Jeff Feuerzeig’s doc has complete access to Albert’s motivations (she’s the leading talking head), plus her home movies and footage of the celebrity-crazy literary events that helped make up the LeRoy mystique, circa 2000-2006. Both documentaries serve up a juicy tale about human nature and the machinery of idol worship, but curious culture vultures should ideally watch both films, in no particular order, to get the true taste of herd mentality (110 min.).
Director: Jeff Feuerzeig
Writer: Jeff Feuerzeig
Producer: Jeff Feuerzeig, Danny Gabai, Jim Czarnecki, Molly Thompson, Brett Ratner, Robert Sharenow, Robert DeBitetto, James Packer, Marie Guirgis, Eddy Moretti, Shane Smith and Henry S. Rosenthal
Cast: Laura Albert, Savannah Knoop, Winona Ryder and Courtney Love