Having to list something based on a theme you yourself recommended (journalism of course) is ironic. I’m was excited about journalism at the end of 2019 because I work in journalism. Also when I recommended this theme I had just seen one of my recommendations! Now many months later the plan I had has escaped me and now I don’t know what I was thinking. Anyway, here’s my three not so theme within theme recommendations. There is a bit of a connection in here but it took ma AGES to figure out!
Last year I watched more shows than previous years because I stopped reading as much. This year is seemingly going the same route and honestly, I’m not very sad about this. Television shows have become so good and more big name talents are going to do television. In other words, picking three 2019 freshmen shows was not an easy task. There were many good choices among the freshmen and I’m struggling to find a coherent theme… until I found one. The freshmen shows I’ll recommend are all non-Netflix shows.
Even though I’m feeling critical today, I have to say I enjoyed Dedication a lot more that I thought I would. The main reason why I wanted to see this movie was because of Justin Theroux who directed it. Theroux is first and foremost an actor but he also has done some screenplay writing (Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2) and Dedication was his first try at directing.
Dedication features a writer played by Billy Crudup who looses his illustrator (Tom Wilkinson) and is assigned a new one by his publicist. Since he has some issues and problems, opinions that he can’t shake off and he really doesn’t like his new illustrator (Mandy Moore) at first he stirs up some trouble. But since she is very nice and patient (after she gets used to him) he falls in love with her. The chemistry between them is interesting, I like his darkness and her lightness which makes them opposites and apparently they attract.
Directing was okay, I liked some scenes very much, for instance the one where the writer was looking for the stone on the beach, and his driving scenes were brilliant as well. Then again the whole vibe of the movie was pretty interesting and sweet. I like the tortured writer types, I relate to them in a way that makes me like them more than other characters. That is probably the reason why I liked it more that the score IMDb has for it (which is 6,7) – I’m giving it a 4 out of 5. Besides, I watched it a while ago and I remember it as it was yesterday so I recommend it.
Cameron Crowe is another director/writer/producer – the best always come in threes (at least I’ve heard) and since I’ve seen at least 3 of Crowe’s movies I can say that this is pretty much true. Jerry Maguire (1996), Vanilla Sky (2001), Elizabethtown (2005) are under his belt, all except Vanilla Sky I liked a lot. I had seen Almost Famous (2000) when I was younger but I re-watched it just few weeks ago.
Almost Famous tells a story about William, a teenager, who feels left out but finds his way by getting on a tour bus with a band. He is basically hired by a magazine to write a story about them, the band which has its ups and downs while they travel from a concert to a concert. While listing the actors I must start with Patrick Fugit, Almost Famous is his movie debut, and a quite good one I have to admit. He hasn’t done much ever since but I still remember his performance in White Oleander – so quality over quantity.
Other names in this are Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Bijou Phillips, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anna Paquin, Zooey Deschanel and Frances McDormand as the William’s mom. So the cast is solid, all of these names are pretty much known and some are even greater now than they were back then. But not to make this all about the actors I would say that the movie had many great moments. Although it’s a comedy it had a certain depth to it: a friendship story, a little bit of love – and all in all it, shows William (Fugit) growing up in the midst of a concert tour. It all gets a bit crazy at some point and the female roles in this are rather annoying (except Williams mom, she is a tough cookie): but I guess it’s what rockn’roll looks like.
Not to get all into it, Almost Famous is a rather interesting Monday night entertainment and worth the 4 out of 5 I’m giving it. No surprise it has an 8,0 on IMDb and out of all the movies I listed in the beginning, this one is Crowe’s greatest work. I like Elizabethtown a little bit more but it might be because I like Kristen Dunst’s character more than Hudson’s in this one. But this is a whole different matter that I’m not gonna get into at the moment.
If you check the movie out be sure to watch the opening credits which are simple and brilliant at the same time, besides there is something symbolic about them as well.
•Making things honest: images are from cswap.