It’s the seventies. William Miller (Patrick Fugit) is a fifteen-year-old boy with an unusual mother who has driven his older sister away, but as she left, she gave him her records, and rock and roll started to save his soul. Driven by his passion and some advice from legendary rock journalist Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), he manages to make friends with Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) and starts to hang out with Stillwaters, an up-and-coming band. Before he knows it, he is on tour with them; a teenager playing it older, out of his depth and learning a lot.
It felt real. It seems ridiculous that a young boy could end up in this situation, but I can imagine that, in the seventies, it could happen. I really liked the fact that everyone was effected by things; not just Patrick, not just Penny Lane, not even just Russel Hammond (Billy Crudup), the guitarist in the band and love interest for Penny. But also the other band members and the other groupies and especially Patrick’s mother, played by the almost wonderful Frances McDormand. This would be an excellent film for teaching film; not only does it hit all the marks, but it is interesting and fun and moving and ace.
Almost Famous won an Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Cameron Crowe) and was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kate Hudson), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Frances McDormand) and Best Film Editing.