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One of the most poignant and enjoyable films about the thriving rock music scene of the 1970's and a young writer's coming-of-age in that roller-coaster environment. This movie is really a "love letter" from writer/director Cameron Crowe (director/writer of Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, Vanilla Sky & screenwriter of Fast Times at Ridgemount High), to that historical period when he cut his teeth as a teenager writing for Rolling Stone magazine, making inroads with some of the biggest names in music from that period, from Joni Mitchell to Led Zeppelin to Fleetwood Mac. Names have been changed to protect the hedonistic lifestyle leading, colorful characters of great musicians and hangers on that defined the period :) Look for cameos from some of the major figured of the time like Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, 70's rock icon Peter Frampton & Eliott Roberts, long-time manager of Neil Young.
Young William Miller, Crowe's alter-ego in the film (this is a loosely biographical tale)is a promising music writer and devotee of legendary rock critic Lester Bangs, gets noticed by the editors of Rolling Stone magazine and leaves his over-protective mother to write an in-depth article for up & coming rockers, Stillwater (a composite band that will remind some of Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers) as they make their way across the country on thier first major tour. Along the way, William learns important life lessons, both good and bad, and gets his eyes opened to some of the harsh realities of life and love.
The movie features an exceptionally moving and thoughtful soundtrack of 70's gems (not the standard hits, but songs that give the movie a really emotional connection to the period) and a score by Nancy Wilson, Crowe's wife and founding member/guitarist/songwriter of 70's sister duo Heart. Exceptional performances from Kate Hudson (in a role that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1999) as legendary groupie (or as she describes herself in the movie, "band-aid") Penny Lane, Oscar winner Frances Macdormand (Fargo) as William Miller's worried mother and Billy Crudup (MI:3, Big Fish) as the moody guitar virtuoso/budding Rock God, Russell Hammond. Also of note is the performance of young Patrick Fugit, who was only 14 at the time of filming, playing, essentially, Crowe as a young man in rock & roll circus.
Highly recommended - the "Bootleg" version is almost 40 minutes longer than the theatrical release and every extra second is a highly enjoyable one to take in. This is a great movie, not only for the Classic Rock fan, but for youngsters who want to know about a time before rock became a corporate entity and big business - told by someone who was in the thick of it.
Many "Special Editions" of films are just repackages with deleted scenes that never belonged there in the first place. Almost Famous,The Bootleg Edition is different. The nearly 30 minutes of extra footage furthers the story
of William Miller and Penny Lane. There are other great deleted scenes including a birthday party for Penny Lane and a funny interview scene involving a stoned out
Kyle Gass (Tenacious D). The added footage fleshes out the whole film nicely and should have been in the theatrical release. Other gooies include a Nancy Wilson
song video including video home movies from the film and an interview with the real life Lester Bangs editor of Cream. Plus Cameron Crowe's favorite albums of 1973. If you love the film, you need this DVD.
I am a big fan of Almost Famous, the semi-autobiographical movie by director Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Say Anything). In fact, I think it is by far his best movie to date.
The movie follows William on the road as he reports on Stillwater, an up and coming rock and roll band. The catch here is that William's still in high school, and he's learning about a lot of things his mother would rather see him not. (In fact, she's so "square" that she thinks Simon and Garfunkel are really out there!) Aside from all the great scenes, including the tour bus collectively singing Elton John's "Tiny Dancer", the great thing about this set in particular is the extra discs. One is a CD of Stillwater's songs from the movie, and the second is a disc that includes commentary by Cameron Crowe and his mom. I love the dialogue these two have together...in fact, Crowe included several family "heirlooms" including wall hangings and clothing from his own childhood. When he and his mom point out these things and discuss them, it's a delight. I almost enjoy watching it more than the original theatrical version!
This is a must for any rock fan, and any fan of new movie classics. I put this in my top twenty all-time favorite movies.
It's the chance of a lifetime when teenage reporter William Miller lands an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine. Despite the objections of his protective mother, William hits the road with an up-an-coming rock band and finds there's more to write home about than the music.
Golden Globe winner, Kate Hudson does a phenominal job portraying one of the band's "groupies". I really enjoyed the nostalgic feel of this film. The movie also recieved a Golden Globe award, for Best Picture.
Cameron Crowe wrote and directed this film. 2hrs,3min. Rated R. Awesome soundtrack as well.
Almost Famous is a great story of a young rock journalist who gets his first big assignment touring with a national act. The band struggles to make it to the top, and he struggles to decide between his job, his new friends, and his over protective mother. Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman give outstanding performances. The ending leaves you smiling, and a great soundtrack tops it off. This movie hits home for anyone who lives to make music... and anyone who has ever loved a band.