Almost Famous (2000) – movie review

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand
Director: Cameron Crowe

Set in the 1970’s against a background of rock and heavy metal that was at the forefront of the serious music scene at the time, we follow the story of William Miller (Patrick Fugit), a fifteen year old schoolboy who is also an aspiring music journalist. His first bi break corner as he gets an assignment to do a backstage interview for Cream magazine with Black Sabbeth, the problem is he can’t get past the security, but it’s while waiting around outside the stage door that he meets Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) and her friends otherwise known as ‘band aids’ a sort of dedicated collective of groupies. It’s also the place he first meets the support band ‘Stillwater’ and realising the Black Sabbeth interview is not going to happen, manages to get an interview with them instead. The interview gets published and it’s not long until he gets a call from Rolling Stone magazine who not only like his writing but believing him to be an experienced music journalist, commission him to write an in depth story on Stillwater, considered to be a band that’s bubbling under and about to go big time. His assignment, is to go on tour with the band and get paid for it, he can’t believe his luck. Fortunately having a supportive and careful mother (Frances McDormand) she allows him to take time off school on the promise he won’t miss any tests, or graduation.

William’s world now changes dramatically as he watches, interviews and makes friends with the members of Stillwater, and with Penny Lane and the rest of the band-aids who are also on the tour. ALMOST FAMOUS is an amazing movie that is so much more than the sum of it’s parts. It’s funny, even moving in places, and it’s sure to ring true in its portrayal and attitudes of many in the business. The portrayal of the seventies is so good the makers could have gone back in time to film it, and the acting and direction are first class. I really can’t think of anything bad to say about the movie except that even at over two hours you can get so caught up in it that you want the story to continue for another two hours and look out for the scene in the airplane — it’s an absolute classic.

Exceptional performances from Patrick Fugit (William), Billy Crudup (Russell) and Kate Hudson (Penny Lane) who is going to be as big a star as her mother Goldie Hawn. Don’t miss the movie — except if you are an aspiring music journalist because it might just give you the inspiration to change your life!

6 out of 6 stars