Memoirist J.T. Leroy, an HIV-positive ex-hustler who survived an indescribably awful childhood to become a best-selling author, was outed recently as a completely fictional creation dreamed up by a real writer named Laura Albert. (Neither of whom should be confused with author James Frey, who also lied about his life but stopped short of making himself up.) One of "Leroy's" books (really written by Albert), The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, was turned into a movie in the wake of the frenzied, fawning reaction that greeted its publication; starring and directed by Asia Argento, the film is set to open in the US next week. In an effort to embrace the hoax that is making them look like fools, Palm Pictures changed the film's tagline to "Behind the greatest hoax of our time is the heartbreaking story that started it all." Oh, the clever.

Following that release (for which I assume Albert is getting paid - she's completely cleaning up here), The Weinstein Company has announced its intention to make a film about Leroy (him/her)self. Written by Captain Mauzner, the man who penned Factory Girl, the film will be based on Warren St. John's New York Times articles that exposed Leroy as a fake, so it'll be less a biopic than an expose. Thought Heart sounds humiliating to watch (A wrenching bio about the writer's horrible upbring that's entirely made up? No thanks.), there's a lot of potential in a fact-based Leroy project. If nothing else, it'll give Mauzner a great opportunity to frolic in a little bit of literary cloak-and-dagger and, if he does his job well, it'll be a great ride for viewers, as well.
categories Movies, Cinematical