Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Almost Famous

Over break I watched "Almost Famous," a movie about a 15 year old named William (played wonderfully by Patrick Fugit) who, as a writer for Rolling Stone, follows the rock band Stillwater in order to write an article about the up and coming band. The movie is semi-autobiographical, based on the life of writer-director Cameron Crowe ("Jerry Maguire," "Elizabethtown"), who really wrote for Rolling Stone Magazine.

William lives with his strict, feminist mother (Frances McDormand from "Fargo") who hesitantly lets him go to concerts, giving the mantra of "Don't Take Drugs!." He meets Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), a  band aid (a non-sexualized groupie) who introduces him to Stillwater. Penny Lane is a manic pixie girl, charming and cute, dispensing wisdom and guiding the hero through the movie.In Stillwater, he meets Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee), the two big personalities of the band. He bonds with the band and the band aids on the road, all while getting calls from his mother and trying to wrestle interviews out of Hammond.

The movie has great performances, especially Philip Seymour Hoffman as Will's mentor, and it is a very cute and funny movie. I highly recommend the film and apparently there is a director's cut that expands upon the story and characters. The movie is a love story to the rock'n'roll era of the late 1960s/early 1970s, with great music all through the film, ranging from Simon and Garfunkel to Led Zeppelin.

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