Top critical review
"I never said I was a golden god . . . or did I?"
on March 4, 2004
Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" is a love letter to rock music. You can feel his affection for the music and the culture that it spawned coursing through every scene of this film. When creators talk of projects that are deeply personal to them, this is the type of project they are talking about.
A teenager named William Miller (Patrick Fugit) is chosen by Rolling Stone magazine to write an article on an up-and-coming rock band called Stillwater. The band finds it difficult to take the young writer seriously but eventually guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) starts to warm up to him. However, a groupie named Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) makes life difficult for the two men as her energetic spirit captures both of their hearts. As William's journey with the band becomes more prolonged, he discovers more and more with each passing day that his romanticized perception of rock stars was a product of his youthful idealism.
"Almost Famous" is an enchanting work that is blessed with memorable performances. Fugit, Crudup, and Hudson are great and the supporting work turned in by Frances McDormand, Jason Lee, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is equally solid. Hudson in particular sparkles in her role and proves that she possesses that rare ability to light up the screen every time she appears in a scene. Her work in this film is like an announcement to the Hollywood community that a new star has arrived. Crowe must also be singled out for his good work. It is oftentimes difficult for filmmakers to capture the essence of their subject matter, but Crowe admirably pulls it off with "Almost Famous."