Actors: Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand
|Review Summary and Plot Commentary about Almost Famous|
|This amazing film by Cameron Crowe is amazing beyond compare. William is a newspaper writer, who loves rock-and-roll. One day, he gets the story of his life by his idol, the famous music critic, Lester Bangs. He will tour with a popular band, and record their moments on paper. Soon, he gets caught up in the world of concerts, parties, drugs, and love. William's worried mother soon goes after him. This is simply put an amazing film. McDormand is amazing as the mother, with Hoffman stealing the show as Lester. For someone who hates rock-and-roll, I loved this film.
--Estefan Ellison, Resident Scholar
|When 15 year old William gets the opportunity to write a feature for Rolling Stone Magazine, his dreams come true as he travels around the US with the up and coming band Stillwater. Once on the road, William discovers what he enjoys in life and where he belongs.
--Annie, Resident Scholar
|Almost Famous is a beautiful story about finding yourself. Main characters all learn something new about themselves and each other, too. It also describes the life in the 1970's rock business (the soundtrack is very good!), in the backstage or in a tourbus.
William is a 15-year-old rock journalist, or at least he wants to become one. He gets to go to a tour with a new, up-coming band called Stillwater. He meets a bunch of groupies, including the queen of all groupies (or, as she calls them, band-aids), Penny Lane.
William also gets to know the guitarist of the band, Russell, better, as he tries to get an interview (which is pretty hopeless). Russell calls William the name "Enemy", but soon that's just a joke.
Later, Russell "sells" Penny and the other band-aids to another band, and that breaks Penny's heart, because she's in love with Russell. She takes an overdose of drugs, but William saves her life and confesses that he loves her.
This doesn't tell enough of the movie. You have to experience it yourself. Good luck =).
--S.A., Resident Scholar
|Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical tale of going on the road with a rock band to write a story for "Rolling Stone" magazine when he was only 15 is surprisingly pleasant and low-key. Yes, there's drugs and nudity, but the soundtrack doesn't blast you out of your seat, and the core of the story is young William Miller's attraction to the secretive rock guitarist (Billy Crudup, who exudes quiet magnetism) and a star groupie named "Penny Lane" (Kate Hudson) who befriends and protects the kid. Raves for Phillip Seymour Hoffman's cameo portrayal of real-life Creem magazine rock critic Lester Bangs, and Frances McDormand as the youthful hero's strong, overprotective mom. The actual band Crowe toured with at 15 was the Allman Brothers, although the Crudup character is based more on Glenn Frey of the Eagles and the near-plane crash happened with the Who. Fictional band Stillwater's songs were composed by Crowe and his wife, guitarist Nancy Wilson who cofounded Heart.
--David Loftus, Resident Scholar
|An uncool 15 year-old senior in high school goes on tour with a 70's rock band. He has been assigned to write about the band by Rolling Stone, and must choose between making his new friends sound cool and being a truthful accurate reporter. He falls in love with the 16 year old groupie that is having an affair with the band's guitarist. He also become witness and part of the quarrels between band members.
This is an excelent movie, with a awesome soundtrack if you like early 70's rock. Jason Lee from Kevin Smith movies such as Chasing Amy, Mallrats, and Dogma moves from his typical comedic role to his wonderful dramatic performace as Stillwater's lead singer in Almost Famous. One of the few flaws in the movie is that Kate Hudson is supposedly playing a 16 year-old, and with her looking early 20's, it changes the romantic dynamic between her and the main character, but she was obviously chosen for the part because of her beautiful body and tremedous acting skill.
This is a great movie, winning Golden Globe Best Picture, along with the Academy Award for best original screenplay.
--Grey Culver, Resident Scholar
|All the credit needs to go to Carmeron Crowe. I have come to the conclusion that the man is a genius. His films Say Anything and Jerry Maguire displayed great character development and human drama mixed with comedy. Almost Famous is, of course, his masterpiece. The film that will probably define his career and is the first classic of the Twenty First Century. Mr Crowe, you, my friend, are a philosopher and poet. A poet of life, humanity, goodness, and reality. And a good cure for the pains of kidney stones.
--Josh Gilchrist, Resident Scholar
|Cameron Crowe does a great job with this wonderful tribute to rock-and-roll of the seventies with an ensemble cast that ranges from terrific (Fairuza Balk really stood out for me) to terrible (Anna Paquin really stood out for me). The story follows a young teenage reporter (Patrick Fugit) for Rolling Stone magazine who is writing a cover story on the (fictional) rock band Stillwater. However, in becoming friends with its star member (Billy Crudup), he gets a lot more in life lessons than in journalism. Kate Hudson stars as one of the female groupies (calling themselves “Band-Aids”) who follow the group from city to city but refuse to have anything too personal to do with them (or so they say). Hudson has been working for a couple years in movies now, and with this fantastic performance she shakes off her being famous for her lineage (she's Goldie Hawn's daughter) and enters her own right as a fascinating and strong actress. Fugit is excellent in the lead role, and Frances McDormand rules the day as his domineering mother. Close to Crowe's best film.
--Bil Antoniou, Resident Scholar
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|Analysis of Almost Famous|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Time/era of movie:
- a teen
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- brunette (Brown)
- (man) short/standard wavey
- (man) very skinny
Events of movie makes character more...
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- soggy whimpering jelly muffin
Sense of humor?
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
Secondary Main Character
- (woman) medium/shoulderlgn wavey
- (woman) medium/shoulderlgn curly
- (woman) very skinny
How much in movie?
- White (American)
- White (American)
- average physique
- New York
- rude people
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
Movie makes you feel...
Sex/nudity in movie?
What kind of sex:
- seeing breasts
- sex under blankets
- Some foul language
- A lot of foul language
If lots of song/dance...
- lot of singing
If soundtrack VERY NOTICEABLE...
- Classic/oldies rock
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).