Monday, April 27, 2015

Almost Famous - Movie Review

Almost Famous, from 2001

Fifteen year old high school senior, William Miller, (played by Patrick Fugit), is an aspiring rock journalist. He accompanies the Stillwater band on their music tour across the country trying to write the perfect story for Rolling Stone magazine. During the trip, he's exposed to a world of change where friendship is the drug used to draw him into their web.

"Its not too late for you to become a person of substance," Frances McDormand (William's mother) tells music performer, Russell Hammond, (Billy Crudup), incendiary lead guitarist of the Stillwater band. He's freaked out after a phone call from her when she checks up on her son. "I know all about your Valhalla decadence... He's not ready for your world of compromised values and diminished brain cells that you throw away like confetti." She warns the would be rock star that her son will be avenged if he's harmed in any way or taken off his chosen path

Kate Hudson, plays a dedicated "Bandaid", who shares a tumultuous relationship with Russell, the lead guitarist, throughout the tour.Before the band's last performance of 1973, she's ousted unceremoniously from the entourage when he's joined by his girlfriend in New York. Unaccustomed to rejection, the infamous Ms. Penny Lane (Hudson) ends up in a situation where William must rescue the eighteen year old.

The film is speckled with well known actors and actresses, among whom is the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, whose sage advice to young William guides him through the painful process of youthful discovery. He advises, "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."

The soundtrack of the movie is packed with hits from the seventies - The Beach Boys, Elton John, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Cat Stevens, Nancy Wilson, David Bowie, Rod Stewart and others whose tunes will bring back those carefree, love riddled days of distinctive fashions and timeless antics. It's a movie that's fun to watch more than once.

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