My Favorite Films of the Last Decade #14

Lester Bangs: Here’s a theory for you to disregard completely. Music, true music, not just rock ‘n’ roll, true music — it chooses you. You know, it lives in your car, or alone, listening to your headphones with the vast, scenic bridges and angelic choirs in your brain. It’s a place apart from the vast, benign lap of America.

14. Almost Famous (2000) – Dir. Cameron Crowe

This quote about music, for me, can be applied to all artistic endeavors, film in particular. Almost Famous is, hands down, one of my favorite movies of all-time. It’s a movie about being a fan, about appreciating someone’s art because it is more than just an expression of the artist, but also so much a part of who you are. It’s about the sort of symbiotic relationship that can exist between artist and audience. At the same time, it’s a cautionary tale about the perils of fame and pop culture idolatry. I love this movie.

Almost Famous came out when I was 16 (going on 17). I had just passed my driver’s test and picked up my first car. I think I saw it with my family. I can’t quite remember. But, what I do remember very well is that it was the first movie I drove myself to see when I went back to watch it again the next day by myself. I was so enamored with this film, feeling an immediate kinship with the main character, 15-year-old William Miller, and his love of rock music. And it’s so much more than just a poignant film that I identified with, it’s just a great film in general.

Patrick Fugit stars as William Miller in Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical tale of his life as a young writer who managed to score a gig writing for Rolling Stone magazine. Based on Crowe’s real life experience touring with The Allman Brothers Band, the story follows William as he tours around the country with up-and-coming Stillwater. Along the way he meets the mother of all Band-Aids (not “groupies”) Penny Lane (played by the lovely Kate Hudson) getting stuck in the middle of a love triangle of sorts with her and Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup), the guitarist for Stillwater. It’s a great story with a great cast (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jason Lee, Frances McDormand, Zooey Deschanel, Noah Taylor, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk…) and the last great Cameron Crowe film (but I’ve still got my fingers crossed for something else as good). If you’ve ever loved anything, see this film.

4 responses to “My Favorite Films of the Last Decade #14

  1. Was of course on my list a few back so no complaints here.

  2. Very well put.

  3. Pingback: My Favorite Films of the Last Decade #9 | Shooting the Script

  4. Pingback: Top Twenty Films of the Decade – Recap | Shooting the Script

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