What do you remember about the early 70's? Was it the music? Was it the sometimes startlingly ugly color combinations of clothes that were called fashionable at the time? Or was it being a 15 year old rock critic and going on tour with an almost-famous rock band? I thought not! Unless of course, you were a teenage Cameron Crowe...
Academy Award winning "Almost Famous" is the semi-fictionalized tale of Cameron Crowe's teenage years as an incredibly intelligent -- and maybe a little socially awkward -- reporter for "Creem" and "Rolling Stone" magazines.
Following the wisdom of Creem's erratic editor, Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), we the audience are led through William Miller’s (Patrick Fugit) longer then originally planned journey away from his progressive/overly protective mother Elaine Miller (Frances McDormand), as he goes on tour with the band Stillwater (a fictionalized mixture of the Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, and others). Leaving his mother to question how she managed to “push” both her children, particularly William’s sister Anita (Zooey Deschanel), so far away.
Of all the characters William meets on the road, the two most important are band-aid extraordinaire Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), with whom William becomes infatuated, and Stillwater's enigmatic incendiary lead guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup), with whom Penny Lane is infatuated.
As the tour gets underway troubles within the band begin to play out and give William a firsthand view of how “un-cool” and arrogant rock stars can really be, especially when his goals to interview every band member seem to be fleeting, as his need to go home becomes stronger and stronger.
This particular version of "Almost Famous" the director’s cut (also known as "Untitled Bootleg" edition), includes about an extra 30 or so minutes of purely detail that was excluded from the original release of this movie. Other well known stars of this film include Jason Lee, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk and Jimmy Fallon.
"Almost Famous" is a heartbreaking romantic comedic tale of music, women, and the privilege of youth. We should all have been so lucky to have been there!
To listen to or buy MP3 tracks from the soundtrack see below: