A high-school boy in the early 1970s is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.A high-school boy in the early 1970s is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.A high-school boy in the early 1970s is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.
One of the most critically acclaimed movie experiences of the year 2000, Almost Famous is the second feature film to come out Cameron Crowe, and he beats his first effort, Jerry Maguire by a mile. Almost Famous is a stunning, thought-provoking film that comes at you directly from the eye of the camera and hits you with a hard bang. It's a movie not only for people who love 70's rock bands, but for all movie-goer's who really love the feeling of coming out of the cinema feeling totally fulfilled.
A 15 year old boy named William Miller (Patrick Fugit) gets an opportunity to travel with a rock band, Stillwater on a 1973 tour. As a younger boy, his sister (Zooey Deschanel) and his widowed mother Elaine (Frances McDormand) had fought about the mother's control over the family and her denial of rock music. The sister leaves home and leaves the young boy her record collection, which immediately seizes his attention. As a teen, he makes record reviews for an underground newspaper. He submits those to Creem magazine writer Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and gets his attention. The two become fast friends and Bangs acts as his mentor as Rolling Stone magazine comes calling. Slipping into an inner group connected with Stillwater, Rolling Stone agrees to bankroll him on a trip with the group. There he meets the "Band Aids", a group of girls that refuse to be called groupies because they are dedicated only to specific bands. "Penny Lane" (Kate Hudson), the Band Aid's leader is enamored with the group leader (Billy Crudup), but befriends the teen. He responds with complete infatuation with her, but he is equally enamored with the charismatic guitarist. While accepted by the band (other members are Jason Lee, John Fedevich and Mark Kozeleck), they nonetheless refer to him as "the enemy - a rock critic".
The film is classically cool and endlessly enjoyable, making it by far one of the top 5 movies of last year. The film boasts absolutely incredible performances, Patrick Fugit is a newcomer and has terrific potential, Frances McDormand is emotionally stunning as an over-protective mother and Billy Crudup, who I underrated at first, gives a performance of believability and power. However, it comes as no surprise that the film's acting star is Kate Hudson, daughter of Goldie Hawn. Hudson gives a masterful performance as Penny Lane, she pulls off all Lane's facial expressions effortlessly brilliantly, and God knows she is one of the most stunning young performers of her current time, and she gives one of the most memorably exciting performances of 2000. Cameron Crowe gets a big pat on the back too for arranging the movie delicately and with absolute dedication.
Cameron Crowe's instant classic is a hard one to beat, and is surely the closest thing we have to a perfect `rock movie' these days. Absolutely unmissable.
- Michael Carruthers
- Apr 6, 2001