`THE HEART' IS A SLEAZY TALE OF ABUSE, ABOVE ALL THINGS.Byline: Bob Strauss Film Critic
JT LEROY'S terrible childhood with his drug-addicted, punk hellion hel·lion
A mischievous, troublesome, or unruly person.
[Probably alteration (influenced by hell) of dialectal hallion, worthless person.]
Noun 1. mom made for a literary sensation a few years back. ``The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things'' is taken from stories in one of those books, and it's as harrowing and appalling as only its director-star, Asia Argento of the even scuzzier ``Scarlet Diva,'' could make it.
Trouble is, now we know that JT Leroy Jeremiah "Terminator" LeRoy was a pen name of American writer Laura Albert. The name was used from 1996 on for publication in magazines such as Nerve. After the publication of LeRoy's first novel, Sarah, LeRoy started making public appearances. was actually a made-up person. A middle-age woman named Laura Albert Laura Victoria Albert (born 1965) is the author of writings credited to the fictional teenage persona of JT LeRoy, a long-running literary hoax in which LeRoy was presented to the public and publishers as a transgendered, sexually questioning, abused, former homeless drug addict wrote the books, and got her sister-in-law to pretend to be the AIDS-infected, onetime teenage hooker in public appearances. Maybe she fooled Argento - who, considering her preference for drug-soaked, auto-destructive film bios, could conceivably have fallen for the hoax. Or perhaps the director, who claimed to be friends with Leroy, knew all along and expected to put one over on credulous cred·u·lous
1. Disposed to believe too readily; gullible.
2. Arising from or characterized by credulity. See Usage Note at credible. filmgoers.
But since a few skeptical reporters put the word out a few months ago, there's only one question. That is: If none of this ever really happened, how can Asia justify putting young actor boys through such endless trauma? She claims that the kids were protected from the overall depravity of the project, only given their own lines and not informed as to the overall story line. Still, you wonder what a child actor thinks when the woman playing his mother tells him she wanted to have him aborted (and that's just for starters). At least there would have been a cautionary factor if the film was based on a true story. But, considering how awful everything is in this film, even that's not likely.
Jimmy Bennett plays the JT stand-in, Jeremiah, who is 7 when his abusive mom, Sarah (Argento), somehow regains custody of him from an apparently nice, or at least sane, foster family.
She's soon running out on landlords, driving across the country - seat belt unbuckled - drinking beer, and encouraging cowboys she picks up to beat Jeremiah for bed-wetting. She follows that up by shoving pills down his throat when he complains. There's a brief marriage to a guy she runs out on. And Jeremiah, who is kept locked in the man's house while the happy couple takes their honeymoon, is raped by the angry groom when he returns home alone.
Ending up a ward of the state, Jeremiah is browbeaten by a prosecutor (Winona Ryder, another supposed friend of JT) who only cares about getting a molestation molestation n. the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, inducement of sexual acts with the molester or with other children, and variations of these conviction. He's eventually turned over to his sadistic sa·dism
1. The deriving of sexual gratification or the tendency to derive sexual gratification from inflicting pain or emotional abuse on others.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from cruelty. , religious fanatic grandfather (Peter Fonda), another big fan of belt-whipping. Some years pass before Sarah comes back into Jeremiah's life, at which point he is played by the twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse. More truck stops, trailers, strip clubs and meth meth
Methamphetamine hydrochloride. labs are passed through; more terrible things are done to the boy. Gender confusion ensues, while Mom gets steadily worse, if that can be imagined.
The daughter of Italian horror film director Dario Argento, Asia seems determined to portray every horror real life has to offer in her own work. You can see why she'd want the role of Sarah; rarely has an actress gotten so much extreme behavior to play in the course of one film. Problem is, she seems to think that Sarah is some kind of transgressive trans·gres·sive
1. Exceeding a limit or boundary, especially of social acceptability.
2. Of or relating to a genre of fiction, filmmaking, or art characterized by graphic depictions of behavior that violates socially heroine, when anyone watching can tell she's just a repulsive human being - and not exactly a model parent, either.
We might be able to forgive, or even accept, the wallow wallow
mud bath frequented by pigs, elephants, red deer, hippopotami as a cooling aid. in awfulness that is ``The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things'' if Sarah were somehow intriguing in her junkie junkie Popular health A popular term for a person, usually an IV narcotic abusing addict, whose life is disorganized vis-á-vis family and societal structure, whose existence revolves around obtaining–often through theft, prostitution or other illicit depravity. But every monstrous move she makes is predictable (Courtney Love, whom the character often superficially resembles, cracks up irresponsibly with a lot more panache and imagination). I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. if the movie follows the book closely, but if it does, you kind of have to wonder how Leroy or Albert or whoever it was made such a splash in the first place.
Bob Strauss, (818) 713-3670
THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS - One and one half stars
(R: children in jeopardy, violence, sex, nudity, drug use, language)
Starring: Asia Argento, Cole and Dylan Sprouse, Jimmy Bennett, Peter Fonda, Michael Pitt, Marilyn Manson, Jeremy Sisto, Winona Ryder.
Director: Asia Argento.
Running time: 1 hr. 37 min.
Playing: Nuart, West L.A.
In a nutshell: The worst childhood ever. Based on JT Leroy's autobiographical short stories. Except that there's no JT Leroy, so it's just sleaze sleaze
A sleazy condition, quality, or appearance: "His record of public service is untouched by any stain of shadiness or sleaze" James J. Kilpatrick. without any excuse.