Monday, July 19, 2010

Almost Famous (2000)

Almost Famous is without a doubt one of my favorite movies. It evokes such a specific feeling of nostalgia and youth - one that makes me wish I had been alive in the seventies, when music was good and every one was cool. I love every character - from Penny Lane and Frances McDormand's fantastic performance as William's mother to Jason Lee's insecure lead singer and Mitch Hedberg's quick appearance as Humble Pie's road manager. I want to know them. I want to hang out with them. I want to smoke with them. I want to be William Miller and I'm jealous of each amazing experience he gets.

Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup are both amazing. Kate Hudson is strong, beautiful, confident, and yet displays amazing moments of vulnerability. One of my favorite moments in the film is when her and Billy Crudup are reintroduced to each other. Joni Mitchell's River is playing and Kate Hudson pauses and her eyes fill with tears. She laughs. It's beautiful. I'm not normally one to gush over the performances of ladies, but she truly is fantastic in this movie. Billy Crudup is also very good. I almost always love him (check out Stage Beauty. It's my favorite Billy Crudup performance). We're with William in that want to like Russell, he's charismatic and cool, yet we watch him do some truly douchey things that never quite destroy our allegiance with him.

And the music. This movie stands upon its soundtrack. Everyone loves the Tiny Dancer scene, it's lovely. And one of my favorite music moments is in the beginning when Anita uses Simon and Garfunkel's America to explain to her mother why she's leaving home to become a stewardess. It's funny, it's touching, and it feels so real. How like a teenager.

And a major shout out to Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs.

I could go on about this movie forever. It's a movie I wish I had written. A story I wish I had lived. This movie always makes me feel happy and if you've never seen it, you're missing out.

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