i finally saw…’almost famous’

Despite being a self-professed pop culture addict, there are many gaps in my movie-viewing history. I’m often greeted with astonished cries of, “I can’t believe you haven’t seen that!” when I admit to not having seen a certain movie. This is obviously something I need to remedy, which I have slowly been attempting to do via Netflix and a book I have called “500 Must-See Movies.” I probably won’t see all 500, because not all of them interest me, but I want to be able to say, “Oh, I saw that!”

People were always quite shocked to hear I had never seen Almost Famous since it was about music (which I love) and journalism (my profession). I was always told I would love it.

I did.

I mean, it wasn’t as earth-shatteringly and life-changing as some promised it would be, but I enjoyed going on the journey with William and Stillwater. There were so many excellent performances, especially Frances McDormand and Kate Hudson’s rightfully Oscar-nominated roles. I loved the glimpses of currently famous people in supporting roles, like Zooey Deschanel and Rainn Wilson, but I guess that’s part of the territory when you’re watching a 12-year-old movie.

The iconic tour bus sing-along to “Tiny Dancer” was just as entertaining as I hoped, and even though I correctly predicted certain plot points, the movie left me with a smile on my face. It seems cliche to describe a movie as ‘heartwarming,’ especially one in which a teenage girl overdoses on quaaludes, but Almost Famous filled me with a warmth that I think comes from Cameron Crowe’s excellent script. The semi-autobiographical elements give the story depth and make the characters seem real.

Am I glad I finally saw Almost Famous? Yes, although I wish I had seen it in college or in my later high school years, when I could more relate to William’s coming-0f-age process, but as a young journalist, his story wasn’t totally foreign to me. (Where can I sign up for a Lester Bangs-esque mentor, though?)

Up next: Say Anything

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live-blogging the oscars.

The awards season comes to a close tonight with the most prestigious of ceremonies: the Academy Awards. It will be an interesting telecast with an unprecedented 10 nominees for Best Picture, and, for the first time in Oscar history, two hosts. The duo of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin is either going to be great or terrible. I’m hoping for the latter, because I find both of them funny separately, so they have to be funny together, right? I’ll be picking apart the fashions as they appear, since I can’t stomach any network’s red carpet coverage. Check back for my thoughts on Hollywood’s most important evening, and bear with me, because I think I’ve seen one, maybe two nominated movies.

8:30: This intro of the Best Actor/Actress nominees feels like a beauty pageant.

8:32: Neil Patrick Harris! Love him and his sequined tux. Of course he’s singing.

8:33: Loving the SYTYCD alums in this number, courtesy of producer Adam Shankman.

8:35: Meryl Streep is awesome.

8:37: Great “damn”/”dame” joke at Helen Mirren’s expense. BTW, has she found the fountain of youth? If so, please share.

8:39: Gabourey Sidibe’s mom is loving Baldwin/Martin.

8:41: Awkwardddd…James Cameron is sitting behind Kathryn Bigelow.

8:43: I asked why Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner were invited and my mother’s response was, “They’re in movies.” Thanks for clearing that up, Mom!

8:48: And Best Supporting Actor goes to…Christoph Waltz. Can’t say I’m surprised since he won a Golden Globe.

8:50: Ryan Reynolds – one of Canada’s best exports.

8:52: It’s nice to see that the real family from The Blind Side was invited.

8:56: This bit with the animated characters is cute.

8:58: Not at all surprised that Up won Best Animated Feature Film. I haven’t seen it, but it’s Pixar, so it has to be fantastic.

9:00: Go home, Miley. Amanda Seyfried looks lovely, though.

9:03: The song from Crazy Heart is probably going to win.

9:04: I’m three for three with winners so far. Too bad I didn’t take part in an Oscar pool.

9:05: So far we’ve had Ryan Reynolds then Chris Pine introduce a Best Picture nominee. I like the trend that’s being set here…

9:12: Tina Fey. My idol. My mother thinks she looks like “Tarzana” in her polka dotted-ish dress.

9:13: Fey and Downey, Jr. are killing it with their writer/actor bit.

9:15: As a writer (I use that term loosely,) I love when they do nerdy writer stuff like read the stage directions on scripts.

9:17: Molly Ringwald? Did you get lost on the way from 1987?

9:19: This John Hughes montage is making me feel old.

9:22: This gathering of Hughes movie alums may or may not make me cry.

9:24: Now the clip of Up is making me tear up. Get a grip.

9:27: I have a total girl crush on Zoe Saldana, even though she was in the Britney Spears cinematic disaster Crossroads.

9:30: John Lasseter, you are awesome.

9:32: I may love Zoe, but hot damn, her dress is UGLY.

9:35: That red haired lady was pretty intense. I got the impression that she wasn’t supposed to be onstage and/or speak.

9:37: I am not shocked at all that Ben Stiller is dressed as a Na’avi.

9:40: I still love the Will Ferrell/Steve Carell bit from when they introduced Best Makeup a few years ago. I may YouTube it during a commercial.

9:47: I love Rachel McAdams (aka Regina George).

9:52: Queen Latifah always looks classy at awards shows. Her dress tonight is very flattering.

9:54: Cameron Diaz, I see you in the background chewing gum.

9:55: Robin Williams is oddly subdued.

9:59: Best Supporting Actress was a strong group with lots of talent, but Mo’nique totally deserves this.

10:01: Colin Firth is so dapper.

10:06: Of course Avatar won Art Direction. It’s easily the most visually stunning movie I’ve ever seen.

10:09: More Martin and Baldwin, please. These two are getting lots of laughs in my living room. SJP’s dress and hair piece are heinous.

10:11: I like this lady who just won Best Costume Design. Way to thank the under appreciated costumers!

10:13: Ugh, I can’t even escape Twilight on the Oscars.

10:15: I’m getting sleepy and bored. I might not make it to the end.

10:18: Color me shocked…Kristen Stewart’s dress is nice and she doesn’t look as slouchy as usual.

10:19: Do. Not. Like. Horror. Movies. I’m watching through my fingers.

10:22: Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick are very cute together.

10:27: Hmm…I thought these sound awards were a lock for Avatar. Does this mean The Hurt Locker has some big awards in its near future?

10:30: Quentin Tarantino – the Dwight Schrute of directing? Discuss.

10:35: Sandra is looking super shiny tonight. I kind of like the dress.

10:36: Avatar finally wins a technical-ish award tonight.

10:37: Oh no. The death montage. We’ve lost a lot of greats this year. Sad.

10:45: Oh, hello, Sam Worthington. I like your glasses.

10:46: LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY DANCERS! I love them so much.

10:54: Do you think Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper talked about Jennifer Aniston while they were waiting backstage?

10:55: A big “DUH” that Avatar won Best Visual Effects.

11:02: Matt Damon – smart, talented, and a writer. Yes, please.

11:08: Dear Keanu, please shave. Thanks.

11:13: All the big awards are coming up, and just in time too, because I’m by myself now and I can barely stay awake.

11:14: I rest my case re: Quentin/Dwight.

11:19: Kathy Bates, you own Dunder Mifflin now.

11:20: I got chills watching the Avatar clip reel. It truly is a story that sucks you in and keeps you emotionally involved until the end credits.

11:23: There is a GIGANTIC spider crawling across the wall towards me. I just want this awards show to be over so I can get away from this speedy arachnid.

11:28: These personal tributes are actually quite interesting and touching.

11:31: Oh my god, West Coasters, it’s 11 freaking 30. Wrap it up, already.

11:33: Best Actor goes to…Jeff Bridges. No surprise there.

11:37: All right, I have to close up shop. I needed to go to bed like, an hour ago. Unlike everyone at the Oscars, some of us have to go to work tomorrow and earn a living : )