Best Picture Nominee: Whiplash

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whiplashCast:
Miles Teller
J.K. Simmons

I honestly had never heard of this film prior to J.K. Simmons winning the Golden Globe for Supporting Actor. Since this film hadn’t been on my radar for long before the Oscar Nominations were announced, I had no idea what to expect when I saw this movie. I had read a basic synopsis, but that’s all I knew.

Whiplash is the story of Andrew(Teller), who wants to be the greatest drummer of his generation. His teacher (Simmons) is verbally and mentally abusive, in what he sees as the only way to drive students to greatness.

This film was painful to watch – but not in a bad way. Everything about the movie is so well done, and the acting and emotions are so raw that you can’t help but feel everything Andrew feels in the film. There were times when I felt myself cringing and not wanting to watch what was coming next, because I felt so bad for the character.

Simmons’ character, Terence Fletcher, is so cruel that I flinched every time he started berating his students on screen. Simmons plays it so well that I completely forgot every other character he’s played and only saw him as Fletcher. He terrified me, and I was only watching him on screen. It’s easy to see why he won the Golden Globe, and he’s currently my favorite of the Supporting Actor nominations (though I have yet to see Foxcatcher, so I can’t speak for Mark Ruffalo’s performance yet, which I’m sure is great as well).

So far this is definitely my favorite of the Best Picture nominees (and since I only have Selma yet to see, I doubt that will change). With Boyhood and Birdman in the running, I’m not sure that it will win, but it’s definitely my favorite. If you like jazz music and drumming, and films about perservering through obstacles, then I highly recommend this one.

Rating: 9.5/10

Favorite Moment: I actually can’t describe my favorite moment here because it’s the final scene, but it’s very well done and validates everything else that comes before.

Ranking:

1. Whiplash
2. The Theory of Everything
3. The Imitation Game
4. American Sniper
5. Boyhood
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel

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