Las Vegas Film Society

Almost Famous

Drug content, language, brief nudity
Directed & Written by: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Billy Crudup, Frances Mc Dormand, Kate Hudson
Jason Lee, Patrick Fugit, Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Those of you know Cameron’s previous films, “Say Anything”, “Singles” and of course “Jerry Maguire”. But many of you will not recognize his recent film, “Almost Famous”. That’s because it never found an audience. It never even got recognized by the Academy for a Best Picture nod, which is truly sad. This is Cameron’s best film to date. If people can’t see the ‘greatness’ of this film, then they are truly blind.

“Almost Famous” tells the somewhat true story of Cameron Crowe’s life start with Rolling Stone magazine. First timer Patrick Fugit plays William Miller, a 15 year old who gets to write for Rolling Stone magazine. William follows a band, by the name of Stillwater. Russell Hammond who is portrayed by Billy Crudup plays the lead guitarist. Jason Lee plays lead singer Jeff Bebe. William also comes across the lovely and warming character Penny Lane, played by the amazing and talented Kate Hudson.

Penny plays a ‘band-aid’ or in some people’s eyes a ‘groupie’. Penny also follows the band and gets involved with Russell, but Penny also attaches herself to William. Penny somehow nurtures the shy and innocent William. William’s mother, played by the also wonderful, Frances Mc Dormand. Williams mother, who is overly motherly, disapproves to her son being on the road, but still let’s him go, even though she’s afarid of him being corrupted and tempted into sex and drugs.

From the start and with every moment of Cameron’s film you are literally ‘soaked in’ the story, and end up caring for every character portrayed in the story. All characters give topnotch performances, including Kate Hudson(who rightfully deserves an Oscar) who somehow lightens and warms up the screen. Even the look in Hudson’s eyes is amazing and you really believe she is the real Penny Lane(and there is a real Penny Lane!).

I could go on and on about this movie, but really want people to discover this movie for themselves. It is truly sad as this movie didn’t reach people. Every one of Cameron’s films seems to trap us in and keep us there, and doesn’t disappoint us. This is one film that puts him on top and shows just how great he actually is.

People and movie-lovers need to see this film, as you will fall in love will this film, just as I did.

In closing, while I am recommending this film, I think it's a definite purchase on DVD, but want everybody to know, that there is a Special Edition with an extended cut(1 hour to be exact) due later this year. So until then, enjoy the DVD that’s out now!

-John Steffens

Another proud member of the Emperor family.