04 October 2000 Almost Famous: Essay on Entertainment Criticism A rolling stone gathers no moss. If Cameron Crowe is to be believed, a 15-year-old Rolling Stone writer will gather all kinds of things. Not the least of which are life experience, sexual exploits, and rock and roll insights. Almost Famous is Crowe's semi-autobiographical account of a young man taking the fast lane to adulthood on the tour bus with a rising rock and roll band. The critics are almost unanimous in their praise of this peek at the backstage machinations of the 1970's rock music scene. The critics feel that Cameron Crowe's script and direction, combined with breakout performances from Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit in major roles, and enhanced by the scintillating talents of Frances McDormand and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in supporting roles, tells a natty tale of life by misadventure.
Almost Famous tells the story of William Miller (newcomer Patrick Fugit), an underage prodigy-writer attempting to document the thrills and spills of life on the road with a burgeoning rock and roll band called Stillwater.
The first verse of this protracted rock and roll number is where we first meet William Miller (played initially by Michael Angarano). He is a precocious eleven-year-old boy living in San Diego, California. For reasons unexplained, his mother Elaine (Frances McDormand) has convinced him that he's 13. She has skipped him forward two grades in school, so this fiction continues until his rebellious older sister Anita (Zooey Deschanel), in a great scene, forces Elaine to tell the truth.
The second verse jumps forward four years to 1973; William is now free-lancing articles and reviews for local and school newspapers. Soon William meets the legendary Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) the editor-critic of the San Diego based Creem magazine. Lester becomes a...