Sunday, June 12, 2016

Almost Famous

Movie Name: Almost Famous
Year of Release: 2000
Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudrup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Fairuza Balk, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Angarano, Jason Lee, Anna Paquin, Noah Taylor, Jimmy Fallon, Liz Stauber, Eric Stonestreet
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis & Review:
Following his very successful "Jerry Maguire" in 1996, director Cameron Crowe came back with one of his best features. The film is simultaneously autobiographical and a celebration of the rock music of the 70s. The film focuses on William Miller, a young man who's on the verge of graduating high school, and loves music and writing about it. Upon meeting one of his idols, Lester Bangs, a seasoned writer, he gets a commission to write about a rock band named Stillwater. The band is on the brink of stardom, and has a series of groupies that follows them constantly. When Stillwater goes on tour, William tags along, causing a lot of concern to this mother, while simultaneously falling in love with one of the fans of the band, the lovely Penny Lane.
Cameron Crowe has had an uneven career, one that nonetheless reflects his profound love of music and his past as a rock music critic for the San Diego Union. His best films showcase just the right balance of character development, overtly sentimentality and romance, that have made them quite popular with audiences. "Almost Famous" is possibly one of his best, since it perfectly captures the rock zeitgeist of the 1970s, and how that decade was suddenly coming to the realization that the ideals of the 60s weren't really coming to fruition. It's a film filled with nostalgia, sentiment, and permeated with such joy for music and for just living life in the moment, that is hard not to feel the contagion. The actors are uniformly wonderful, with Billy Crudrup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Patrick Fugit, Fairuza Balk, Philip Seymour Hoffman, all creating wonderfully unforgettable characters. The cinematography from John Toll is superb, as is the score from Nancy Wilson. A great film always worth watching.