Whiplash, written and directed by Damien Chazelle won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Sundance award winners are always worth giving a watch, as they represent some of the most interesting independent film-making in the US.
The official synopsis is as follows:
Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father (Paul Reiser), Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity.
This trailer is intense! The synopsis didn’t quite prepare me for how full on it would be. JK Simmons looks terrifying – he’s such a great character actor, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him in this interesting role. Miles Teller is an extremely capable actor, who has proven he has what it takes to carry a dramatic role. This film was at the top of my TIFF wishlist, but now that I know it has an Australian release date, I’m going to wait and check it out on release here.
Whiplash will release on October 23 in Australia.