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Almost Famous (2000)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 181,281 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 791 user | 241 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies it on their concert tour.

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Title: Almost Famous (2000)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 54 wins & 89 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

William Miller is a 15-year-old kid hired by Rolling Stone magazine to tour with and write about Stillwater, an up and coming rock band. This wonderfully witty coming-of-age film follows William as he falls face first to confront life, love, and lingo. Written by Filmtwob <webmaster@filmfreak.co.za>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Experience it. Enjoy it. Just don't fall for it.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

22 September 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Something Real  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£511,896 (UK) (9 February 2001)

Gross:

ESP 129,054,292 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (DVD extended cut)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The shot of the crowd at the start of the first Stillwater concert, with the roses on the stage and fan flashing a peace sign, is based on the cover of Neil Young's "Time Fades Away". See more »

Goofs

At least one frame in the "Penny's birthday cake" scene that is a mirror image. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elaine Miller: I can't believe you wanna be Atticus Finch. Oh, that makes me feel so good.
Young William: I like him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the movie, one can hear a record changer playing the outgoing groove of a record, the needle lifting, and the player shutting off. See more »

Connections

Featured in Smashing UK Top 10: Top 10 Coming of Age Films (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wind
Written & Performed by Cat Stevens
Courtesy of A&M Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Its Honest About Its Own Dishonesty
24 September 2000 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Here's Crowe's film about his own struggle between whether to write a puff piece (to entertain) and the incisive truth (to stimulate, inform, extend). The focus is also the method as the film itself is not at all true or insightful.

Instead, what we have is a very well-written, mostly competently executed feel-good story. Along the way, we have lovable characters, and situations pulled from the stock catalog. I liked an equivalent raw competence in "Autumn in New York," but there they weren't dishonest.

The dishonesty here is in the glossy romanticizing of the end of the rock era. GenXers who weren't there want to feel that it was all rather harmless so they couldn't have missed much important with their inconsequential music fads. Boomers, the real rock generation, don't want to be reminded that they balked upon being led to the cusp of a revolution. So the movie has a constituently for romanticizing rock, while castrating its power. America has a tradition of doing this to the past, beginning with Native Americans, who we disarm by nobilizing.

Crowe knows this -- he is after all here to push buttons and make money. But he is also an intelligent man, so has referenced his dilemma with his two alter egos: the kid and the Hoffman character. This latter, small role makes this film worth seeing, because it is explicitly self-referential. The reflection is the infilm characterization of the film as superficial.

Hoffman is a wonderful actor, and the role is exquisite, touching both on the issue of real journalism (merciless) contrasting with celebrity (here codified as "cool"). Starting around then, journalism was turned to the manufacturing of coolness outside the film industry, and Rolling Stone was the main pimp, sort of the Microsoft of cultural vapidity. Hoffman's character remains true, and though Crowe himself has sold out (taking the Rolling Stone route), he's honest enough to know and be explicit about it. For that, I tip my hat.

Some few things in the film rang true: we really did think that this music could "set you free," even Simon and Garfunkle (but not Elton John!). The stewardess costumes really were that doll-like. I appreciated the Eastern Airlines dressage (but it should have been on a 727, not a modern DC-10). Creem was indeed studied (but why not mention the more merciless and honest "Crawdaddy"?).

Some few things rankled. The airplane scene was just amaturish. McDormand's character was too one-dimensionally daft for this sometimes excellent actress. Drugs and misogyny were almost absent in this rosey story. It would have helped to describe why the world thought southern rock groups could revive genuine rock, and how that hope grew out of latent racism. A character reveals he is gay, but that word, nor any not derogatory, would not have been used then. We miss the often cruel harem politics that stressed the camp followers' alliances.

You can have Kate Hudson, and overlong fawning on her grin. I'll eagerly await Hoffman's next film, though.


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