Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as legendary rock writer Lester Bangs in Dreamworks' Almost Famous - 2000Almost Famous is the semi-autobiographical story of director (and former Rolling Stone writer) Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Say Anything), who was interviewing the likes of Kris Kristopherson, the Who, and David Bowey at the tender age of 16. Like Maguire, this film seemlessly blends fact with fiction, combining real people, places, and events with made-up ones to get the perfect alchemy of a great, great story.
The film follows a 15 year old kid (played nicely by newcomer Patrick Fugit, above with Kate Hudson) who has a foray into the wild world of rock journalism, at the cautious urging of his quirky mentor Lester Bangs (played brilliantly by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Punch Drunk Love) and much to the chagrin of his loving-but-a-little-too-intense mother (nailed by Frances McDormand.*). Sent by Bangs to get 1000 words on Black Sabbath, young William Miller instead gets swept onto the "Almost Famous" tour, writing a piece on (fictional band) Stillwater for (the very real rock mag) Rolling Stone.
Crowe, as always, is adept at writing dialogue that is good, but not so good that it doesn't feel real. His actors are always sunken into their characters, so that the story is the thing, not the actors...As an unrepentant Hip Hop junkie, i never saw the point of watching a movie about classic rock, but the musings of the star's mentor Lester Bangs can apply to any genre of music or art (when he's lamenting that rock+roll will become "An Industry of Cool", i was SURE he was talking about hip hop).after watching the "making of..." piece on the bonus material and learning that this story was cobbled together from bits and pieces of Crowe's own experiences as an underage rock journalist, it made for an even better repeater, causing me to think more about how these events fit into a real person's life. you know, one that keep going on after the credits roll.uno...samax.