A young woman named Savannah Knoop spends six years pretending to be the celebrated author JT LeRoy, the made-up literary persona of her sister-in-law.


Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly, Savannah Knoop (memoir) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristen Stewart ... Savannah
Laura Dern ... Laura
Jim Sturgess ... Geoff
Diane Kruger ... Eva
Kelvin Harrison Jr. ... Sean
James Jagger ... Ben
Courtney Love ... Sasha
David Lawrence Brown ... Bruce (as Dave Brown)
Alicia Johnston ... Isabelle
Eric Plamondon Eric Plamondon ... Gaspard
Craig Haas ... Ennio
Adam Hurtig ... Darren
Will Woytowich ... Cassian
Bobby Robidoux Bobby Robidoux ... Elliot
Sarah Constible ... Bookstore Manager


A young woman named Savannah Knoop spends six years pretending to be the celebrated author JT LeRoy, the made-up literary persona of her sister-in-law.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fraud | See All (1) »


Based on the incredible true lie


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, sexual content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


James Franco was originally cast to play Geoffrey Knoop. See more »


In multiple shots, the Bay Bridge can be seen illuminated with artist Leo Villareal's installation "The Bay Lights". This installation was installed early January 2013 and opened officially March 2013. The film is set in the late 1990s/early 2000s and as such the work would not have been installed on the bridge. See more »


Laura: You're as much a part of JT as me.
See more »

User Reviews

wrong protagonist
23 August 2019 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's 2001 San Francisco. Savannah Knoop (Kristen Stewart) visits her brother Geoffrey Knoop (Jim Sturgess) and his wife Laura (Laura Dern). Laura writes the novel Sarah under the pen name JT LeRoy with a picture from a thrift store. It's a fictional biography of a nameless abused boy whose mother Sarah is a prostitute in West Virginia. Laura has been giving a voice to JT on the phone and now she wants to use Savannah as the physical presentation of the boy. Laura pretends to be JT's British assistant who controls his every move. Eva (Diane Kruger) is a fan taken with the mysterious JT.

I'm getting a little tired of Kristen Stewart's intense reticent. She keeps doing the same moves. Savy is not the most compelling protagonist in this story anyways. This really has to be Laura's story. The only way to place her concluding speech in any context is to show her life. Savy doesn't seem to have agency at the beginning. It doesn't make her that compelling until she starts taking charge of herself. Whenever Eva comments on their phone calls, I keep thinking that the phone calls should be done on camera. Savy is the second or third most interesting character in her own story. It's an interesting story nevertheless.

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UK | Canada | USA


English | French

Release Date:

12 August 2019 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

JT LeRoy See more »

Filming Locations:

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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