Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons in Whiplash.
Welcome to New York’s fictional Shaffer Conservatory, a prestigious music academy and breeding ground for tomorrow’s Charlie Parkers and Buddy Riches. Playing off the title to a jazz composition in the film, Whiplash also conveys the pain of one student’s journey. Miles Teller plays Andrew, a drummer aspiring to musical immortality under the terrifying tutelage of Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) who conducts his band sessions like life-or-death war maneuvers, and God help those who miss a beat.
Whiplash is nominated for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Simmons, who is equally at home on Broadway’s musical stage, as the cuddly dad in Juno, or as the Aryan alpha inmate in HBO’s Oz. Whiplash delivers outstanding performances from Simmons and Teller in a hair-raising, high-octane story by young writer-director extraordinaire Damien Chazelle, and poses the questions: What is the price of greatness? And where does one cross the line from tutor to torturer? You be the judge. A