Tuesday, February 24, 2015
IMDb plot summary: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.
Directed by Damien Chazelle. Starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, and Melissa Benoist.
At first, after walking out of the AMC Best Picture Marathon, I thought Birdman was my favorite of the group. But as a few days have gone by since I got around to reviewing them all, Birdman stayed about where it was in my estimation while Whiplash just kept rising and rising. I keep remembering the electrifying final scene, how the stakes and the story and the editing all built to this climax where a college kid's drum solo could be the most riveting thing I'd seen on the screen all night.
J.K. Simmons is incredible in this. He brings an unbelievable energy to this story, and Miles Teller's quiet nice guy performance is a great foil. The acting chemistry between the two is just perfect. Every other character fades into the background -- I have to actually think hard to remember anyone else in the movie because these two dominate the screen in very different ways.
This was one of those movies that made me cheer every time it won something on the Oscars. It's a simple story that is told just about perfectly. I wouldn't be surprised if it rose to be one of my all-time favorites. I find myself wanting to watch it again only a few days after having seen it, which is incredibly rare for me. But it's just that good.
How it entered my Flickchart:
Whiplash > Last Action Hero
Whiplash > Argo
Whiplash < The Lego Movie
Whiplash > Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Whiplash > Stranger Than Fiction
Whiplash > Magnolia
Whiplash > Smashed
Whiplash > The Holiday
Whiplash < Breaking the Waves
Whiplash < Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Whiplash < Heathers
Whiplash > Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Final spot: #299 out of 2328.