You are invited aboard the Cameron Crowe Tour '73: please join us down memory lane to revisit the film-maker's own original glory days as an underage journalist with a commission to rock. Crowe's quasi- autobiographical yarn follows 15-year-old William Miller (newcomer Fugit, cute but effective) on an assignment for Rolling Stone to profile the fictional band Stillwater, an upcoming outfit replete with second-rate riffs, first-rate groupies, and a simmering tension between its attitudinal front man Lee and more talented guitarist Crudup. The kid sees plenty, but will he ever get his interview? And how much will he tell? Crowe points up questions of journalistic and cultural compromise, as proferred by the boy's pugnacious critical mentor, the notorious gonzo rock journalist Lester Bangs (Hoffman, enjoying himself), but he's never a film-maker to force a moral conundrum when he can let it diffuse into the general harmony of things. It's a sweet-minded, picaresque story, woolly with some of its dramatic details, but stacked with attractions: I've not even mentioned McDormand, Hudson, Taylor, Paquin. Peaches and cream.
Cast and crew
Philip Seymour Hoffman