Almost Famous

September 13th, 2000

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Almost Famous

Still of Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit in Almost FamousStill of Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit in Almost FamousBoth the young and old versions of William pose with director Cameron CrowePhilip Seymour Hoffman stars as Lester BangsPatrick Fugit stars as WilliamKate Hudson stars as Penny Lane

A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies it on their concert tour.

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 8.0/10 (117,847 voted)

Critic's Score: 90/100

Director: Cameron Crowe

Stars: Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson

William Miller is a 15 year old kid, hired by Rolling Stone magazine to tour with, and write about Stillwater, an up and coming rock band. This wonderfully witty coming of age film follows William as he falls face first to confront life, love, and lingo.

Billy Crudup - Russell Hammond
Frances McDormand - Elaine Miller
Kate Hudson - Penny Lane
Jason Lee - Jeff Bebe
Patrick Fugit - William Miller
Zooey Deschanel - Anita Miller
Michael Angarano - Young William
Anna Paquin - Polexia Aphrodisia
Fairuza Balk - Sapphire
Noah Taylor - Dick Roswell
John Fedevich - Ed Vallencourt
Mark Kozelek - Larry Fellows
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Lester Bangs
Liz Stauber - Leslie
Jimmy Fallon - Dennis Hope

Taglines: Experience it. Enjoy it. Just don't fall for it.


Official Website: Vinyl Films |

Release Date: 13 September 2000

Filming Locations: 1047 Maple St, Santa Monica, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $2,314,646 (USA) (17 September 2000) (131 Screens)

Gross: $47,383,689 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (director's cut)  | Croatia: (DVD extended cut)

Did You Know?

When Penny Lane is driving William to the hotel to meet Stillwater, there is a reflection on the windshield that resembles the cover of Pink Floyd's album "Dark Side of the Moon".

Continuity: When William is sitting in the bathtub, Penny Lane comes in to use the bathroom. Startled, William knocks his notes off the edge of the tub. In the next scene, where we are looking straight at Penny Lane, the notes are still lined up on the edge of the tub.

[first lines]
Elaine Miller: I can't believe you wanna be Atticus Finch. Oh, that makes me feel so good.
Young William: I like him.

User Review

One of my favourite movies of all-time

Rating: 10/10

Finally, a movie worth the full price of a ticket! Almost Famous is Cameron Crowe's semi-autobigraphical story of an aspiring rock journalist who goes on tour with a band in the 1970's. If it sounds familiar, it's probably because the story is hardly new. There have been dozens of movies made about the rock and roll lifestyle: the drugs, the sex, the fights, and all the bumps on the road to success.

So what sets Almost Famous apart? The acting, for one. Frances McDormand was brilliant as William's (newcomer Patrick Fugit) well-meaning but overbearing mother. Fugit, for his part, had a convincing performance as the shy, awkward teenager struggling to be a journalist but at the same time aching to belong. Kate Hudson, in her breakout role as groupie "Penny Lane", gave her character depth beyond what might have been a limiting role. And Billy Crudup, as band Stillwater's charismatic lead guitarist, shines. Jason Lee is always good, and as Stillwater's lead singer, this role is no exception. And I can't review this film without giving a shout-out to the chronically and criminally-underrated Philip Seymour Hoffman, who steals every scene he's in with his portrayal of legendary rock journalist Lester Bangs.

The writing in the film also contributes to its effect. Many of the great lines belong to McDormand but there are plenty of others to go around. In addition, the music of the era can't be beat. Everything from Simon and Garfunkle to Alvin and the Chipmunks shows up at some point in the movie's extensive musical score.

The plot may not be particularly original, but it rings true. I of course am approaching this review as a music fan and someone interested in the industry. Nonetheless, I believe that even people who couldn't care less about rock music will enjoy this movie, since it's not so much about the music as it is about life. A central theme is the conflict of William: Should he remain a detached but lonely outsider so as to be an impartial journalist, or allow himself to make friends with these people and feel like he belongs? Aside from bringing up questions of journalistic ethics, this dilemma mirrors much of what people in all wakes of life deal with daily.

Almost Famous is realistic, funny, touching, and one of those rare movies that makes you feel like you've gained something just for having seen it. It's too bad that they say rock and roll is dead, cause we could sure use more movies like this one!

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