ALMOST FAMOUS

Director Cameron Crowe
Year 2000
Starring Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand, Billy Crudup
Rating R
Run Time 122min
Age Policy

17 and up; Children 5 and up will be allowed only with a parent or guardian. No children under the age of 5 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

This screening is part of our December celebration of The News in Cinema!

"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone when you're uncool."

Throughout his career Cameron Crowe has made feel good movies. Films that wrap around you like a warm blanket. This is his M.O.

He's obviously not ashamed of it because he continually made project after project that decided to sidestep cynicism and embrace positivity. That's not to say his films don't have darkness or sadness or deep emotional truths. In fact, Crowe's best work has quite astounding moments of honesty.

SAY ANYTHING... is about an almost-too-good-to-be-true teenage romance, but the heart of the story lies in a broken father-daughter relationship. JERRY MAGUIRE tries to duplicate another improbable romance, but that film's emotional impact lies in the deep flaws and insecurities of its characters.

ALMOST FAMOUS remains Crowe's perfect mix of saccharine sweet and melancholy. It's an incredibly watchable film from start to finish because it's filled with joy, love and all that mush, but it's a film worth revisiting because, while its dark moments are sparse, it feels real.

The film is a journey following 15-year old Rolling Stone journalist William Miller (Patrick Fugit) as he tours with the fictional band in 1973. Crowe based the story off of his own experience covering The Allman Brothers in his teens for the infamous magazine. It's this type of personal touch that really gives ALMOST FAMOUS that intangible sense of truth. From the moment we meet William and his older sister (Zooey Deschanel) bequeaths onto him her record collection, including Simon and Garkfunkel's Bookends, we feel like we are in this time.

And then Philp Seymour Hoffman, playing William's mentor Lester Bang (a real-life rock critic and all-around great writer), cements the era right into our brain as he declares "too bad you missed out on rock 'n' roll."

Crowe effortlessly sets the stage for what, for now, is his most personal, funny, moving and best film.

And I haven't even got into the meat of everything from Frances McDormand's brilliantly played performance of William's overprotective lover to Kate Hudson's star-making turn as Penny Lane, a kinda amazing, kinda sad queen of groupies to Billy Crudup and Jason Lee as the talented ying and yang of Stillwater.

Needless to say you'll have a good time. The moments when you're not laughing you'll be smiling. ALMOST FAMOUS has been billed as a coming of age story, and it is to an extent, but it's plenty more than that.

Filled with amazing music, an endless amount of quotable lines and a big, bulging heart, ALMOST FAMOUS is a loving and nostalgic love letter to a very real tme and place. (R.J. LaForce)

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