Almost Famous ★★★ 2000 (R)
Fifteen-year-old budding rock critic William Miller's (Fugit) dream comes true after he bluffs his way into a Rolling Stone writing assignment covering a rising '70s rock band on tour. This ode to the music and youth culture of that decade may lack grit, but its sympathetic treatment of young Miller's coming-of-age amid groupies, drugs, rock and roll, and a worried, undupable mother (McDormand) achieves director Crowe's ends. The film's adoration of the music's energy and emotion appear to be the headliner here, but it never outperforms its devotion to character and relationship. Delicate performances by first-timer Fugit, and by Hudson as the more-than-a-groupie groupie, plus a memorable portrayal of the wise and slightly surly critic Lester Bangs by Hoffman. Based on Crowe's own experiences. 202m/C VHS, DVD . Patrick Fugit, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Frances McDormand, Jason Lee, Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, John Fedevich, Mark Kozelek, Fairuza Balk, Bijou Phillips, Anna Paquin, Noah Taylor, Jimmy Fallon, Zooey Deschanel, Liz Stauber, Eion Bailey, Mark Pellington, Terry Chen, Peter Frampton, Zack (Zach) Ward; Cameos: Jann Wenner; D: Cameron Crowe; W: Cameron Crowe; C: John Toll; M: Nancy Wilson. Oscars '00: Orig. Screenplay; Golden Globes '01: Film—Mus./Comedy, Support. Actress (Hudson); L.A. Film Critics '00: Actor (Douglas), Support. Actress (McDormand); Broadcast Film Critics '00: Orig. Screenplay, Support. Actress (McDormand).