- 1h 49m
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Based on Savannah Knoop's memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy, this captivating true story goes beyond the headlines to tell the story of the most compelling literary 'hoax' of recent times. Laura Albert (Laura Dern) writes as her "avatar," a disenfranchised young queer man named JT LeRoy. When her debut novel becomes a best-seller and JT becomes the darling of the literary world, she comes up with a unique solution to preserve her anonymity but give life to her nom-de-plume. Enter her boyfriend's androgynous fun-loving sister Savannah Knoop (Kristen Stewart), who connects with Laura's punk, feminist, outsider universe and agrees to be JT in the public eye. Together, they embark on a wild ride of double lives, infiltrating the Hollywood and literary elite, only to discover who they are while pretending to be someone else.
Rotten Tomatoes® Score
Critics Consensus: While it may leave some viewers wishing for a more in-depth exploration of its story and themes, J.T. Leroy offers a diverting dramatization of incredible real-life events.
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Common Sense Media
Common Sense Says
Fascinating true story hooks into gender identity issues.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that J.T. LeRoy is based on the true story of a literary persona invented by two troubled people that turned into a scandal when the ruse was revealed in 2005. It's based on a memoir by one of the participants, Savannah Knoop (here played by Kristen Stewart). In the book, Knoop wrote openly about her gender identity, though the movie isn't as clear on whether she's trans or not, and the character is played by a non-trans actor. Viewers see her enjoying a sexual relationship with a woman, as well as the pleasure she gets from posing as a male. In one scene, she binds her breasts, and they're briefly visible. The movie tackles many complex ideas about identity and sexuality, some of which can be seen as regressive, as when a character tells a male reporter to expose himself to "prove" his masculinity. But in other scenes, Knoop-as-LeRoy affirms their right to be anything they want to be. Sex is represented by kissing (both same- and opposite-sex), followed by bodies moving rhythmically and quick, non-explicit shots of body parts while actors moan and sigh. Frequent cursing includes "f--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," and more, along with words like "boner" and "c--k." A character smokes a joint, and adults drink socially. Sex work is frequently referred to: One character works as a phone sex operator, and a book is about an underage sex worker who plies their trade at truck stops. Two characters have eating disorders: one barely eats, the other alternately binges and starves.
A Lot or A Little?
The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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- Release Date:April 26, 2019
- Captions:English, Spanish
- Audio Format:5.1
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