It’s not often that a first-time film writer/director gets Academy Award nominations, but Damien Chazelle has succeeded with Whiplash.
The story concerns Andrew (Miles Teller), a first-year musician, who is an aspiring drummer at the reputed top music school in New York.
He is selected by Professor Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), the top conductor in the school, to be part of his jazz band. But, Fletcher is the teacher-from-hell, making his students literally bleed to impress him and achieve his idea of perfection.
It’s no wonder that Simmons won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and is, now, nominated for an Academy Award in the same category. While he is demonic, he, also, gives credence to his theory that potential greatness needs to be challenged to the nth degree for it to come forth. Part of the success of his role and the film is the debate it stirs about whether his contention is valid or not.
If you can handle the blood, you’ll want to see this amazing work for its resounding climax alone.
I give Whiplash a 4+ out of 5.