Indie Gems: JT LeRoy

The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things

Savannah (Kristen Stewart) has just moved to San Francisco. She takes over an apartment owned by her brother, Geoff (Jim Sturgess) and sister-in-law, Laura. (Laura Dern) Laura wrote a best selling book under what she calls an "avatar", JT LeRoy, a young man who grew up in poverty and prostitution. She convinces Savannah to pose as JT in public, and the rest is history.

I first heard about JT LeRoy around 2006-2007 when I happened upon a movie based on his book - The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. Asia Argento starred and directed (Diane Kruger plays a version of her in this film) and actors like Jeremy Renner, Ben Foster and the Sprouse twins were in it. It was very disturbing, and also very different from films I had been watching at the time. It grabbed my interest, so I read JT's novels along with it. Of course a quick Google search showed that JT wasn't a real person but the audacity of his hoax was just fascinating to me. 

There's already been a documentary on this hoax from Laura's perspective, plus many interviews, so I was excited to see that this was being adapted from Savannah Knoop's memoir, Girl Boy Girl. (Which I also read and enjoyed) and her side of things is a breath of fresh air in the LeRoy drama.

Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern are so perfectly cast that I can barely comprehend it. They were perfect incarnations of Savannah and Laura. Laura's manipulation of Savannah is so clear, as is her own temptation with living in the lime light. It covers nearly all of the big beats of her memoir. Unfortunately this film is so fast paced that it feels rushed.

If you've ever followed the JT Hoax, this is a must see for you, and even if you haven't, I think this would be an enjoyable nonetheless.

Grade: B+

Watched on: Netflix DVD

Memorable Quote: "Art is fucking eerie, man." - Laura (Laura Dern)

Comments

  1. I'm gonna see The Lion King on the 17th 💙💛❤️💜

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    Replies
    1. I'm going to re-watch my DVD of the animated feature!

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  2. I am interested in this mainly because of the cast and subject matter.

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    1. Even if you're not familiar with the LeRoy story I think this is worth the watch.

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  3. Yet another interesting Indie Gem Brit! You and sati turn me onto some really cool stuff, its hard to keep up! Gonna watch Little Woods tonight =D

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    1. I hope you like Little Woods! Thanks for reading these. :)

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  4. I have this to watch but mediocre reviews discouraged me. I may check it out, I mean I am sitting here watching Hellboy so nothing can be worse than this lol

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    1. If you're watching that you can watch this lol. I'm sure it's much better.

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  5. Ooh this is a completely new one to me! I think Kristen Stewart is really underrated so I'll definitely give it a go. Btw I love your replies to the Wiggles accounts!

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    1. lol thank you. They fascinate me. Are they smart bots? Real people? So many possibilities.

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