Against the wishes of wary mother Elaine (McDormand), aspiring teenage music journalist William (Fugit) takes a plum assignment from Rolling Stone to cover the latest tour of his favorite rock band, Stillwater. On the road, 15-year-old William befriends lead guitarist Russell (Crudup), who keeps promising him a juicy interview, and falls for "band aid" (i.e. groupie) Penny Lane (Hudson), who's barely older than William himself.
Why we love it
Set in the early 1970s, and based on actual events in the life of writer-director Cameron Crowe — once an underage Rolling Stone scribe himself — "Almost Famous" is a beautifully observed coming-of-age drama that captures the spirit of an era with soulful warmth and bittersweet insight. Crudup, McDormand, Hudson, and wide-eyed newcomer Fugit all deliver vivid, well-rounded performances, while a brief early appearance by Philip Seymour Hoffman as real-life gonzo critic Lester Bangs remains indelible. Crowe's songs of innocence and experience will rock your world.