Sony Pictures/Sierra Affinity/Bold (Jason Blum, Helen
Estabrook, Michel Litvak & David Lancaster)
W: Damian Chazelle [based on his short
DP: Sharone Meir
Ed: Tom Cross
Mus: Justin Hurwitz
Miles Teller (Andrew Nieman), J.K.
Simmons (Terence Fletcher), Paul Reiser (Jim Nieman), Melissa Benoist (Nicole)
Whiplash depicts the cutthroat, dog-eat-dog nature of the
music industry, as ambitious, reclusive young drummer Andrew enrols at a prestigious music academy where brutal Professor Fletcher pushes his students to the absolute limits of their
abilities through the use of physical and mental torment to the point of bullying.
The teenager turns a blind eye to his family & social
life in a bid to continue chasing his dream, whilst Fletcher justifies his practices with his theory that by pushing his students beyond their means,
he'll unlock their true potential in the hope to find the next Charlie "Bird" Parker and keep the dying genre of jazz music alive.
Based on a short film of the same name, the source
material works incredibly well, mostly due to the director's claustrophobic style, bringing a unique tension to the rehearsal scenes where Andrew quite literally plays until his blisters
As good as Miles Teller's lead performance as Andrew is,
the movie is stolen by J.K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher, winning virtually every award going as 2014's Best Supporting Actor. The film was also, quite deservedly, nominated for the
Oscars' Best Picture of the year, winning awards for Sound Mixing & Editing.
Put that Glee boxset down and put this film on instead. It
may not be as fun, but it's by far more visceral and realistic.