The early 1970s. William Miller is 15-years old and an aspiring rock journalist. He gets a job writing for Rolling Stone magazine. His first assignment: tour with the band Stillwater and write about the experience. Miller will get to see what goes on behind the scenes in a famous band, including the moments when things fall apart. Moreover, for him, it will be a period of new experiences and finding himself.Written by
The other bassist, or guitarist, who leads them off singing "Tiny Dancer" on the tour bus is Mark Kozelek, lead singer of Red House Painters. He has also produced many solo albums. See more »
When William is writing in the tub and Penny Lane walks in, Post-It Notes appear to be all over the tub. Post-it Notes were invented in 1977, and not released to the public until at least 1979. In the DVD commentary for "Untitled", Cameron Crowe says the notes are folded yellow legal paper. See more »
In the opening credits, Frances McDormand's name is originally misspelled (as Francis), but the hand writing the names erases and corrects the name. See more »
The extended 'bootleg cut' version available on DVD features 39 minutes of additional footage, bringing the running time at 162 minutes. This version is actually titled 'Untitled' and has a title card as such in Cameron Crowe's handwriting. See more »
Written by Sky Saxon
Performed by The Seeds
Courtesy of GNP-Crescendo Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group See more »
Heart-wrenching, honest, clever; everything I like in a film
I've seen a few coming-of-age films, and a few prodigy-cum-genius type films, and of course more than my share of romantic comedy stuff. This film skirts between the lines of all those possibilities and somehow manages to find its way to the viewer intact, deftly and with a whole lot of old-fashioned charisma.
The acting was honest, true to how people behave without getting schmaltzy or over-dramatic. Cameron Crowe gets these actors to all project a belief in themselves and bring that across in a way that we care about what happens to them. I particularly liked the rendition of William Miller by Patrick Fugit, who steals the show as the precocious rock-n-roll journalist. He evokes visions of a young Matthew Broderick or a wide-eyed Michael J. Fox without ever getting corraled into being the "cute but troubled young kid".
Frances McDormand is amazing and well-cast as Elaine the Mom, someone so wrapped up in creating a safe, healthy environment she drives both her children far away from home.
Billy Crudup & Kate Hudson create the tension filled romance that drives the story along; both did a great job & were adroitly evocative of those fast times in the rock & roll fantasyland of the 70's. Billy, as Russell Hammond, teeters on the edge of fame, not wanting to leave his long-suffering bandmates behind but being courted as the band's star by the record company, is palpably torn. He carries William through the whirlwind of emotions and music along with him, showing him a world that is desperate and lonely, even with the whole world seemingly vying for his attention. His casting is also very clever, seeing as how Billy Crudup also sits on the brink of his own stardom & acclaim in real life.
Lester Bangs is William's 'guru', played to perfection by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. A walking oxymoron, he exudes a callous arrogance and at the same time expresses genuine affection for the up-and-comer, sometimes giving William the exact advice he needs to get him through the toughest moments as a rock critic & dealing with the love/hate relationships they seem to engender with everyone in their world of music.
I can't say enough about the awesome casting job, as well as the very detailed set design, costuming & realism to the times. Period pieces are usually difficult to do well; Mr. Crowe did this one genuine and good.
A truly great film, one that I'd heartily recommend to all but the most jaded rock critics.
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