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Almost Famous (2000)
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Review Date: September 16, 2000
Director: Cameron Crowe
Writer: Cameron Crowe
Producers: Cameron Crowe, Ian Bryce
Actors:
Billy Crudup
Kate Hudson
Patrick Fugit
Jason Lee
Plot:
A precocious high school boy gets the opportunity to write an article about an up-and-coming rock band, by joining them on the road for a few days. Along the way, he struggles with the concept of reporting the truth vs his friendship with the band members, and meets a pretty girl who also likes to hang out with the band.
Critique:
An entertaining movie from top to bottom: an interesting story, superb actors, rockin' soundtrack, well-developed characters, a strong message, a nice love story, top-notch directing, humor, drama and two star-making turns in Billy Crudup and Kate Hudson. Think about whatever it is that you generally look for in a movie, and it will be in this one! A tribute to the music that is rock 'n roll, this film lets you ride along with various participants of the game, checking out the different sceneries along the way. It gets behind the music, behind the fans, behind the band, behind everything! It will definitely bring back a flood of memories to anyone who actually lived through those times, and certainly connect to anyone else who has ever been a major fan of any rock band or ever wanted to be a musician (rock star) themselves. It's nice to see that in a year of film mediocrity, a movie such as this can still come out and remind us all why we love movies so much in the first place. This one takes you away for a couple of hours, tells an interesting tale through several interesting characters, and certifies its participation in the year-end Best Picture race by wrapping it all up in a wonderful bouquet of entertainment. And despite a little bit of over-romanticism of the music and the times, this film still manages to present us with some great insight into the main players of the music biz including the musicians themselves, the fans and the reporters who cover it all.

And with a solid script as its base, this film takes off to another level with the excellent performances shot forth by its lead actors. Billy Crudup has been tooling around Hollywood for some time now, but this film will undoubtedly catapult him off the charts. I hope that this film does to him, what GLADIATOR (8/10) did to Russell Crowe. And where the heck did Kate Hudson come from? Brought into this world by actress Goldie Hawn, known primarily for her pranky roles in easy comedies, Hudson takes on this lead role with the edge of a pro, and the charisma of a newfound sensation. Two more nominations for awards should be reserved for these two well-deserved thespians at the year-end ceremonies. And tag those great roles on to several other smaller showings, including Frances McDormand, perfect as the over-protective mom, who can't help but look out for her children, Jason Lee, coming into his own as the pseudo-Jim Morrison like lead singer, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who remarkably cannot seem to pick any bad roles in movies, and you've got yourself an all-around rock-solid cast. This film puts rock 'n roll on a pedestal but that's not all it does. It's really a journey about finding yourself. Characters all floating around their lives, unsure of who they are or what they stand for, until their day-to-day interactions eventually help them find their true selves. See it for the music, if you like. See it for the great performances or see it simply because of its greater entertainment value, but the bottom line is that this movie is one of the best films of the year, and no matter why you think you want to see it, just see it, dammit! Who knows, maybe it'll help you "find yourself", too.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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