Newest Review: ... When William first meets the band he also meets "band aid" a fancy name for a groupie Penny Lane (Hudson), with her help William ... more
Almost Famous (DVD)
Member Name: Julie449
Almost Famous (DVD)
Advantages: Great Drama with Great Music
Disadvantages: Nothing Major
The film has a normal edition and a directors cut edition, this review is for the normal edition.
The running time is approx 118 minutes, and it has a 15 certificate.
Cast members include Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Patrick Fugit, Anna Paquin and a then reasonably unknown Zooey Deschanel.
The film was directed, and written by Cameron Crowe.
The film is semi-autobiographical as Cameron Crowe was once a teenage writer for Rolling Stone Magazine.
Almost Famous won many awards and received even more nominations, including an Oscar for Best Screenplay. It also won a Grammy for its soundtrack.
The film is set in the music industry of 1973. Following the life of teenager William and his quest to become a music journalist. He somehow manages to get himself an all expenses paid assignment to tour with an up and coming band called Stillwater. The band have issues, especially between lead guitarist Russell (Crudup) and singer Jeff (Lee). When William first meets the band he also meets "band aid" a fancy name for a groupie Penny Lane (Hudson), with her help William soon becomes a part of the groups circle of friends.
Throughout his time with the band William's rather overprotective mother repeatedly tries to get him to come home. As the band begin to trust him, William sees everything that goes on behind the scences, some good and some pretty bad. He witnesses the relationships between the band members and the band aids, especially between Penny Lane and married guitarist Russell, including their mistreatment. All the bands issues come to a head when they all think they are about to die on a plane and everything comes out. There are some utter betrayals and hard lessons learned by all towards the end. With all the drama will William ever get his articiles published?
I love this film. It is one of my favourite films, and I have watched it quite a few times now. Its such a good dramatic film, but there are also some laughs in there along the way. Including the rather crazy character of William's mother, I hope I never end up like that, and some of the things the band mates annouce on the plane. I liked how the film began, with a little insight as to how William gets into music in the first place. I felt it was an accurate portrayal of the shallowness and selfishness of some rock stars, both of the time and present day. It really makes you look differently at the band aids (groupies), you almost feel sorry for them. They are so in love and obsessed with the rock stars and the lives they lead, that they can't see that they mean nothing more to them than a bet in a poker game. There are so many girls and guys that still live with this illusion. However despite this there are times when the rock stars come through for each other and William and so us they are human after all. The film also explores the crazy drug taken ways of the 70s. Its almost as if you are being transported into the lives of the rock stars. Felt the acting was strong throughout the cast, and although William's story is quite unlikely to happen in the real world, especially nowadays, it appears believable. There are also many relationships that were intresting to watch throughout the film, especially between William and his mother, and although we don't see too much of them the relationship between William's sister and their mother, and the way they change from beginning to end. However I think the most intresting character to watch is Penny Lane and how she changes the relationship she not only has with the others but with herself.
Overall I think this is a fantastic film, which explores lots of issues, yet is still intresting and an enjoyable watch. It has some good music throughout and if you love films and music I think its a must see.
The dvd edition that I own comes with a whole load of special features including,
HBO Making of Featurette
Rolling Stones Articles;Original Text by Cameron Crowe
Stillwater's "Fever Dog" music video
Production Notes and a trailer.
The film also has English, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles available.
Summary: A must for music and film lovers