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Almost Famous

Almost Famous is a film, written and directed by Cameron Crowe and released in 2000. It tells the story of a teenage journalist for Rolling Stone magazine covering the rock band Stillwater, and his efforts to get his first cover story published. more...

Almost FamousAlmost Famous
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The film is semi-autobiographical, as Crowe himself was a teenage writer for Rolling Stone.

The film stars:

  • Patrick Fugit as Crowe's alter ego, William Miller
  • Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, and Noah Taylor as lead guitarist, lead singer, and band manager respectively, of the fictitious band Stillwater, an amalgamation of The Allman Brothers Band and several other bands that Crowe wrote about
  • Frances McDormand and Zooey Deschanel as William's mother and sister, respectively
  • Kate Hudson, Fairuza Balk, Anna Paquin, and Bijou Phillips as groupies known as "Band Aids" (Hudson's character Penny Lane was based on several women Crowe knew, but primarily on "rock star muse" Bebe Buell)
  • Jimmy Fallon as the band's new manager Dennis Hope
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman as real-life journalist Lester Bangs.

The film's award-winning soundtrack featured an eclectic mix of period rock, other period genres, and songs written by Crowe's wife, Nancy Wilson, expressly for the movie. Highlights include Simon & Garfunkel's "America" and Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" and "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters", and Thunderclap Newman's "Something in the Air".

Despite very good reviews the film was not a box office success. The film received four Oscar nominations, one of which led to an award to Crowe for his screenplay. It was also awarded the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

The tagline for Almost Famous is "Enjoy It. Experience It. Just Don't Fall For It."

Musical background

The movie remains a masterful piece for those that were raised in the 1970s and provides a valuable insight into the mind of Cameron Crowe and through his adept storytelling, presents a rare look inside rock and roll.

Fugit, who was born 10 years after the movie takes place, was given a collection of records to listen to and learn from to help him understand the period. While specific albums were not mentioned, one can imagine that they were based on the collection given to his character William by his sister at the turning point of the story. These albums help describe and lay the ground work for the rest of the movie and can be seen as a primer for anyone interested in learning more about the period. They are:

  • Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
  • Cream: Wheels of Fire
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash: Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Miles Davis: Bitches Brew
  • Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde
  • Jimi Hendrix: Axis: Bold as Love
  • Jethro Tull: Stand Up
  • Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin II
  • Joni Mitchell: Blue
  • The Mothers of Invention: We're Only In It For The Money
  • Rolling Stones: Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!
  • Rolling Stones: Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)
  • Santana: Abraxas
  • Neil Young: After the Gold Rush
  • The Who: Tommy

Also, Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends, the album William's sister tries to sneak into the house.


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