"The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
Writer/director Cameron Crowe won an Oscar for his extraordinary script for this outstanding semi-autobiographical tale. Crowe accomplished an astronomical achievement with his previous film, Jerry Maguire, so people had set their expectations pretty high because of his potential and talent as a writer/director.
The film is essentially the tale of what happened during Crowe's teenage years with altered character names. In Almost Famous, teenager William Miller (Fugit) becomes besotted with rock music despite the strong negative response from his overprotective mother (McDormand). When William is 15 years old, he becomes a journalist for a magazine. Then when William's talents are realised by the editors of Rolling Stone magazine he is hired to tour with an up-and-coming rock band to get the opportunity to write a story about his experiences. Director Cameron Crowe tells his story extremely well, with an Oscar winning script that is quite incredible. Every line delivered by a member of the cast had me fascinating and intrigued. The opening scenes in particular are highly memorable not to mention very interesting. I studied this film as part of a screenwriting course and now with each new viewing I appreciate the screenplay even higher.
Newcomer Patrick Fugit is really impressive in the lead role that symbolises Cameron Crowe in his youth. Like most child actors I found that Fugit was still in need of a number of acting lessons. Having said that, he was far better than many child actors I've seen over the years. I thought he perfected the style of a teenager very believably with charm and appeal.
Billy Crudup was also someone who achieved excellent results. He actually felt like a member of a rock band; drugs, facial hair, etc. Frances McDormand realistically portrayed an overprotective parent.
And the sugar on top was the enormously talented direction from Cameron Crowe. My only complaint would be over-length, but although saying that I still found a bulk of the movie to be very entertaining.
Believe me I was not interested in seeing this film, but Almost Famous is a remarkable effort and a drama you will want to see again. For those of you love music and have a song that reminds you of a time or place, you will understand the driving force behind this movie. The film is able to trigger nostalgic memories for those who appreciate the value of treasured songs. If you love 70's music in particular you won't regret watching this one.