Winter 2015 Features series
Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 4:00pm
Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 7:00pm
Directed by Damien Chazelle
Screenplay by Damien Chazelle
Starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, and Melissa Benoist
Rated 14A ·
Brilliantly realized by writer-director Damien Chazelle and driven by fierce, searing performances from Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now, Rabbit Hole) and J.K. Simmons (Labor Day, A Beginner’s Guide to Endings), Whiplash is a potent drama about just how far someone will go to be the best.
Andrew (Teller) is a promising nineteen-year-old drummer at the Schaffer Music Academy, one of the best music schools in the country. Haunted by his father’s failed writing career and plagued with the fear that mediocrity might be genetic, Andrew practices until his hands bleed. The pressure to succeed becomes all the more intense when he is picked to join the school band led by the infamous Terence Fletcher (Simmons), a ruthlessly disciplinarian music instructor who will stop at nothing to make his students realize their potential. Under Fletcher’s tyrannical direction, Andrew determines to attain perfection in his art at any cost—even his humanity.
An exhilarating study of the thin line between passion and obsession, Whiplash has all the tension of a psychological thriller as it explores the true cost of greatness. Packed with great jazz standards, dazzling musical recitals, and performances of nerve-wracking intensity, it will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to the blistering climax.
“Fear. Passion. Blood. Sweat. Tears. Pounding through the beat of a drum. Screaming in the crash of the cymbals. Fast, furious, raging perfection in bleeding hands, broken sticks, broken relationships, broken lives. Debris surrounding transcendent greatness. Ecstasy within the agony. That is Whiplash, with an amazing Miles Teller on drums, a terrifying J.K. Simmons setting the tempo. A movie you feel as much as you see, and what you see is both exquisite and excruciating. It is one of those scorching films that burns through emotions, uses up actors, wrings out audiences. And the jazz, well, it has its own moments of brutal, breathtaking fusion.” (Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times)
“More Full Metal Jacket than Dead Poets Society, the film is an epic battle of wills between two fanatical artists, one doing everything in his power to painfully make a master out of the other.” (A.A. Dowd, The A.V. Club)
“Whiplash is true to its title. It throws you around with impunity, yet Chazelle exerts tight, exacting control over his increasingly feverish and often weirdly comic melodrama.” (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)