Directed by Cameron Crowe, Almost Famous features a top quality cast including Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, Frances McDormand, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a very young Zooey Deschanel, Patrick Fugit, and my personal favourite Kate Hudson as the lovely Penny Lane.
Almost Famous is a film about 15 year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit), a young and enterprising reporter who finally gets the opportunity to write for Rolling Stone magazine in 1973. His first assignment is produce an article about up-and-coming rock band known as Stillwater. In order to get “up close and personal” with the band he is allowed to accompany them on their tour, witnessing first hand the “good, bad and the ugly” of rock music.
Interestingly, Stillwater was in fact a real band during the 1970s, but there is apparently no connection to the fictitious group in Almost Famous.
During his journey William encounters Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), a sweet girl whose passion for Still Water and music in general has taken over her life, he begins to fall for Penny despite her affections for the guitarist.
I really enjoyed this flick; it has a great cast that all gel extremely well, and some of the comedic moments are absolute genius (a hilarious scene featuring Jason Lee on the band’s aeroplane comes to mind). I thought Patrick Fugit was very good as young rock journalist William Miller, and found the moral of the story to be very touching.
Despite my high praise there are some minor flaws with this film. The running time is a little too long at just over two hours, and although I enjoyed the entire experience I felt the characters and plot lacked a certain depth that could have made the film a lot more enjoyable overall. If it wasn’t for this I would happily consider Almost Famous to be one of my all-time favourites, perhaps even awarding it my very rare 5-star rating.