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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 64. Almost Famous (2000)

August 15, 2011

64. Almost Famous [DVD] (2000)

Plot: Writer and director Cameron Crowe’s experiences as a teenage rock journalist inspired this coming-of-age story about 15-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit) hitting the road with the up-and-coming rock band Stillwater in the early 1970s.

On the tour he becomes friendly with guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and becomes enamored of Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), a groupie traveling with the band who is no older than William, but is deeply involved with Russell.
Also Starring: Frances McDormandJason LeeZooey DeschanelAnna PaquinFairuza BalkPhilip Seymour Hoffman

Written and Directed by: Cameron Crowe
Length: 122 min
Budget: $60,000,000
Gross Revenue: $47,383,689 (Worldwide)

Experience it. Enjoy it. Just don’t fall for it. (tagline)

Review: The reason this movie is on this list is due to a conversation I had with a friend of mine. It sounded like this:
Him: So you’re doing a Top 100 Greatest Movies List? That’s great. What spot will Almost Famous take? Is it in the top ten?
Me: Ehrm, I don’t think it’s going to make my list at all…
Him: WHAT? Yeah right, and next you’re going to say Cinema Paradiso isn’t on it either..?
Me: Ehrm…
Him: You can take your list and shove it. (leaves)

Not only because I didn’t want to have this list shoved somewhere but also because I hadn’t seen Almost Famous in ten years I rewatched it too prove my decision to keep it off this list was right.

It was not. The scenes with Philip Seymoure Hoffman as Lester Bangs alone makes this movie worthy of the 64th spot on this list.

Favorite Quote:
Lester Bangs: Oh man, you made friends with ’em. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong. 
William Miller:
Well, it was fun. 
Lester Bangs:
Because they make you feel cool, and hey, I met you. You are not cool. 

But watching it again also made me remember why I was reluctant to even consider it as a list contender. I have a problem with Patrick Fugit, the lead actor. Perhaps he reminds me of Matthew Broderick, I don’t know, but despite my problem with him, he is quite good in his portrayal of an awkward teen suddenly playing with the big boys (read rock stars).

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: Patrick Fugit grew three inches while filming and consequently, co-star Billy Crudup had to wear platforms to balance it out.

Kate Hudson is however magnificent, alongside Billy Crudup, Zooey Deschanel and Frances McDormand.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I left this out, but now that I have made things right, let’s be friends again. At least until you see what decision I made on Cinema Paradiso

Oscar Count: 4 Nominations
1 Win:
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Cameron Crowe)
3 Losses: Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kate Hudson) Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Frances McDormand) Best Film Editing (Joe Hutshing, Saar Klein)

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 65. Deliverance (1972)


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