Talk about an unreliable narrator. Powered primarily by a single interview, Author: The JT LeRoy Story gives Laura Albert carte blanche to frame as she pleases her decade of hoodwinking the literary world. And yet, the skepticism her story provokes is eclipsed by how engrossing it is, providing canny insight into how she was able to pull off such a stunt in the first place.
Albert is a masterful and enigmatic storyteller, and one whose entire life appears to have been meticulously recorded by herself and others. The filmmakers had access to a trove of photographs, telephone recordings, amateur film and video, TV footage, and more. No detail of Albert’s account lacks an undramatized illustration, with the notable exception of the fictional events portrayed in her writing, whose overwrought renderings are the film’s biggest weakness.
Nevertheless, Author is ultimately a fascinating inquiry into the value of authenticity.