Kate Hudson won a richly deserved Oscar nomination for her part as Penny Lane in this movie. Penny is a free spirit – a groupie to the rest of the world, a “band-aid” in her own mind. She in love with Russell Hammond, the lead guitarist of Stillwater. William Miller, the boy reporter who follows the band during its tour and the protagonist through whose eyes the story unfolds, has a crush on her. He sees that Russell does not love her, does not regard her as much else other than a convenient fuck-buddy while he’s on the road.
Watch this crucial exchange between Penny and Will where it all comes to a head:
Penny: Maybe it is love, as much as it can be, for somebody…
William: Somebody who sold you to Humble Pie for fifty bucks and a case of beer! I was there! I was there!… Look- I’m sorry.
Watch her face as she reacts to this piece of information. The tears that come unbidden, held back for a moment, the brave smile, and the response: What kind of beer?
If that doesn’t deserve an Oscar nomination, I don’t know what does.