I need to be honest here, I was a bit afraid of watching this movie. For almost 20 years now, I’ve been hearing how incredible of a movie this is, how influential it is, how this and that it was… It’s hard finally watching something you’ve heard only absolute praise about, because what if it doesn’t hit me as it hit others? What if me not being really into music that much (don’t get me wrong, I love and listen to music, but my knowledge is on a superficial level, I’m way more confident in movies, that’s why I’ve started this blog :-)) also affect the way I’d see this movie?
Well it didn’t, as I’ve finally seen it for the first time and let me tell you something – it’s truly a great movie. First of all, this is Cameron Crowe‘s best movie, there is not even a competition, this is his magnum opus. The way he directed this film is on another level, and the main compliment I need to mention is while watching the movie, it was hard for me to believe this is new(ish) movie, as it honestly felt like something from 70’s/80’s! From the feel of the movie, to the way he shot/blocked scenes, it truly seemed like something from that era, where at the end it was truly hard for me to understand this was done in 99/2000!
This movie lets you into its world even if you are somebody like me, whose knowledge of music scene of that era is on a superficial level – that’s another smart move from Crowe – you don’t need to be a music expert, you don’t need to get every reference that’s thrown your way in order to enjoy this movie fully, as those are “just” extras, for the crowd that knows their music. And this is yet another example of how smart this movie really is – any lesser film would’ve put the music properly “in front” where it could potentially alienate people like me who’re just not experts, therefore wouldn’t enjoy this as much. But here, even though it might seem like it, the music world is actually a background to a story of growing up and becoming an adult.
Yes, this movie is more about a (really) young guy, trying to balance his way in this double-faced world, where the music world surrounds him in every way. This movie is mainly about Patrick Fugit‘s character navigating this world, not knowing how it works, what to do exactly. He nails how it is not feeling like a child anymore, but also not being a proper adult yet. That awkward stage in between is really hard to put onto a film, yet somehow Crowe had pulled it off stunningly and seamlessly.
Another thing where this movie shines is displaying loneliness – how you can be surrounded with people one moment, yet still feel like the last person on Earth the next (the best example of that would be Kate Hudson‘s character dancing all by herself after a show’s finished, just her, empty gym and some balloons and glitter), how this world gives you everything you want one day, makes you feel like a cool guy, so it can take it away from you the very next day, feeling like the biggest loser.
I’ve also loved the fact every character, no matter how small or large, is not just a two dimensional one, but has an extra layer. Everyone seems to be some kind of stereotype at first, but the more you see, the more you understand that’s not really the case, as everybody got something to say, sometimes it might be deep, sometimes stupid.
I haven’t seen a movie as great as Almost Famous in a good while, and even though the runtime scared me a bit (I’ve seen the extended cut that runs just over 2 and half hours) it flew by like nothing and passed my ultimate test. What is it, you ask? If movie finishes and I feel like I want to watch it again, that very moment, I know I’ve seen something quite special. And that’s exactly what Almost Famous is. Something quite special, that upon further viewings, might actually crack my TOP 15 of all time.
That’s all for this one? What did you think about this movie? Let me know!
Until next time,