170. Almost Famous: The Bootleg Cut (A+)
Arguably the highwater mark of Cameron Crowe's career to date: the 80s and 90s were his gradual ascent, capping it at the turn of the New Millenium with this autobiographical story that won him his Oscar. And he was on the precipice of a "low, dishonest decade" where his two features would both be poorly received (though the first one made lots of money), and take a nearly six-year break between films. We Bought A Zoo
is getting very strong reviews, so perhaps he's finally back is business.
I vaguely recall watching this on TV, but I only remembered scenes are a very general sense of the plot going in. This is the director's cut, which is about 40 minutes longer, and it's a sign of a good director's cut where I can't really imagine where those 40 minutes were cut out (from what I've read, there are only a few new full scenes, but a lot of extended existing scenes). It's a great, great movie, with a lot of great performances. Patrick Fugit really hasn't done much since (but he's in Crowe's new film; loyalty!), which is a bit disappointing. It's always surprising and sad to see how magnetic Kate Hudson is as Penny, considering what happened later. Then there was the minor find that Cam from Modern Family
is in the movie as a hotel clerk.