Cameron Crowe


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

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Cameron Crowe

Almost Famous (2000) is a snapshot of real life behind the scenes of rock and roll.

In the 1970s, William lives with the affectionate but oppressive mother, a widower and a professor, and with his sister. The sister leaves to become a stewardess and William meets a rock and roll critic who initiates him to journalism. William interviews the band Stillwater and meets one of their groupie, Emily, who wants to move to Morocco with him but sleeps with the leader, guitarist Russell. A natural talent, William is hired by the magazine Rolling Stones to follow the band across the country. His mom calls him wherever he goes to make sure he's ok and does not do drugs. William is a shy boy and still a virgin. William follows the band from one city to another, but his mission turns out to be difficult because Russell is never available for an interview and his article cannot be completed without that interview. His mom keeps calling him back to her, to his studies, to an ordinary life, but Emily clarifies the situation for him when she states: "this is home". William spends most of the time with the groupies and basically becomes one of them. The groupies treat him like a child and even initiate him to sex (collectively, but not the one he is falling in love with). The editor of Rolling Stones is getting nervous because the magazine has great expectations and William has not sent a line yet. William is caught in a spiral of parties. He lives in a circus. In the process, he forgets about his exam in law.
One day the band plays in New York, where Russell reunites with his wife. Emily, kept at arm's length, tries to kill herself and is saved by William. His mother attends the graduation that he missed, clapping alone. William is kissing Emily who is falling asleep. The following day he puts her on a plane back to her parents. William flies to San Francisco and frantically writes down the article. The magazine loves it, but the band denies everything: they don't want their wives, friends and parents to know the truth. At the airport William accidentally meets his sister who congratulates him for his freedom. William convinces her to accompany him home and meet their mother. Russell, who has betrayed both Emily and William, the two people who really admired him, would like to visit Emily and apologize but ends up by mistake at William's place and apologizes to him. Finally, William gets his interview with Russell. Russell also calls the magazine and tells them the truth.
Vanilla Sky is a confused and pretentious thriller that makes an half-baked attempt at dealing with schizphrenia. David is a playboy, who inherited a publishing empire, His favorite girlfriend, Julie, is slowly trying to enter his private life. Driving to work, he almost kills a cyclist and is killed by a truck, and his reaction is a laugh. He is always late at the board meetings, and it is obvious that none of the other board members respects him.
The story so far turns out to be a flashback. David is in jail, charged with murder, his face disfigured and hidden behind a mask, and he is telling the story of his life. David is convinced that the board of the publishing company framed him to get control of the company.
At his birthday party, David met the exotic Sofia and fell in love with her. Julie got jealous, followed him, tricked him into her car, drove the car over a bridge in a fit of madness. He dreamed it was just a dream, but it truly happened.
David emerged from the coma a freak. The board was already planning to declare him incapacitated. His face was disfigured and doctors told him that pastic surgery was impossible. Sofia was dating his best friend Brian.
The psychologist tells him to take off his mask. And David remembers how they fixed his face. He became Sofia's lover for real. But then nightmares began confusing his mind: his face appeared at times disfigured again, Sofia turned into Julie and he hit her, a man stalking him told him that everything was only happening in his imagination because of a contract they signed.
The psychiatrist asks David who that man was and who killed Sofia, but David can't remember.
David went back to his apartment and was met by Sofia, but Sofia turned into Julie while they were making love and he killed her.
The psychiatrist asks him again who was the man of the contract. David does not remember, but a commercial brings back the memory of a corporation called "Life Extension": they specialize in freezing bodies so that they can some day be brought back to life. The psychiatrist takes David to their offices and there an agent explains that David signs for the "lucid dream" program: the body is suspended in an apparent state of death, while the brain dreams an ideal life. David takes off his mask: his face is still disfigured. David tries to run away but meets the man of the contract. He signed a contract with this man many years before. The night when Sofia rejected him because his face was disfigured was the last time he saw Sofia. Days later, he found LE on the Internet, signed the contract, committed suicide and was "cryonized". Since that day, his life has been his own creation. Unfortunately, his subconscious created trouble, like the psychiatrist who is warning him (the psychiatrist is his own creation). Now, many years later, that glitch (that caused his nightmares) has been corrected. He can choose: to continue his lucid dream without any more nightmares, or to face the real world. David jumps from the skyscraper.
A female voice tells him to wake up...
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