“When the scene was over, I realized that Hoffman had pulled off a magic trick. He’d leapt over the words and the script, and gone hunting for the soul and compassion of the private Lester, the one only a few of us had ever met. Suddenly the portrait was complete. The crew and I will always be grateful for that front row seat to his genius.”
— Cameron Crowe on the poignant phone call scene between William Miller and Lester Bangs in Almost Famous
For all he did in his long, rarefied career, I think that one scene is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s finest moment. Almost Famous remains one of the best movies ever made about rock-and-roll, a love letter to the music that moved me and so many others during our formative years. And Hoffman’s turn as Bangs, probably the most legendary of the reclusive and irascible old school rock critics, was sheer brilliance from start to finish.
By quietly expounding on the blessings and curses of being uncool, he proved himself cooler than anybody.