What movie character do you identify with the most? Check out the latest Ask the Critic question and post your own

By Owen Gleiberman
March 07, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
Almost Famous: Neal Preston
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What movie character do you identify with the most?

What movie character do you identify with the most? — Bob
For years, I would have said William Petersen’s brooding former FBI agent in Manhunter — a more tormented (and layered) forerunner to his forensic detective on CSI. It’s a rare day on which I’m accused of being the most carefree person in the room, and Petersen plays the serial-killer expert Will Graham with a fusion of saturnine obsessiveness and analytical zeal that strikes a deep rhyming chord with my own temperament. Perhaps I’m growing lighter with the years, though, since my current answer to your question is Patrick Fugit’s wide-eyed teenage journalist in Almost Famous. In 1973, when Cameron Crowe’s movie is set, I was 14, just a year younger than Fugit’s William Miller, and what I identify with so powerfully is what it was like to be growing up in — and loving — the rock & roll ’70s, even as the whole vibe of the era frequently came off as a conspiracy to make you feel like an innocent, too-earnest-to-be-cool outsider.

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