Entertainment Magazine

Oscar Nominee Review: ‘Whiplash’

Posted on the 10 February 2015 by House Of Geekery @houseofgeekery

Previous Reviews: The Theory of Everything The Imitation Game The Grand Budapest Hotel Birdman American Sniper Selma

Director: Damien Chazelle

Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist

Plot: A first year college student and aspiring drummer Andrew Neiman finds himself with a place in the studio, Shaffer Conservatory’s famed jazz band headed by the terrifyingly maniacal conductor Terrence Fletcher. Fletcher will stop at nothing to bring out a Neiman’s full potential, bringing the mentor and student into a violent and abusive working relationship.


Review: Ah, the brilliant but troubled mentor and/or student. Along with race issues, unrecognised in their time geniuses, artistic madness and war we’ve just about ticked all the Oscar nominee boxes this year with a Boyhood review needed to add in dysfunctional family drama. There’s a reason we always come back to these themes though, as they continue to resonant with all of us and provide great entertainment. Whiplash is no exception.

Everybody recognises J.K. Simmons from something, even if they don’t remember his name. Whether it’s from OzSpider-Man or Juno, you remember him from one of his many scene stealing roles. This is possibly his most powerful, most spell-bending performance. You only get a taster of the manic conductor in the trailer as his rather ripe vocabulary gets edited around. He’s not a nice man. He berates his students, threatens them and mocks them for everything from their absent parents to their racial heritage. His motivation is outlined later in the film, and we’re privy to his own struggles, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who feels that the ends justify the means.


What’s remarkable in this film is that the protagonist Neiman, played by relevant newcomer Miles Teller, manages to stop Simmons from completely pulling the film out from under him. Teller’s going to be one to watch, with his talent already being noticed enough to score him the role of Reed Richards in the upcoming Fantastic Four. Teller has hurled himself into a highly physical role, beating the ever-loving crap out of the drum kit as much as he verbally spars with Simmons.

Some aspects of the story seem almost cursory in their screen time, such as a family dinner scene and a short lived romantic subplot but it all adds up to an overall picture. It’s an engaging and emotionally driven story that, although it’s the performances that will resonant the longest, has such a solid base that it’s easy to get invested with the characters. You won’t spend much time questioning why Neiman spends so many hours turning his hands into a bloody mess to improve his skills even on reflection it seems extreme. Best buckle up for this one, it’s a crazy ride.

whiplash drums

Score: NINE out of TEN

Chances of Winning: It’s an emotionally powerful story hinged on amazing performances, but without the crowd pleasing addition of a misunderstood scientist or race issue it lacks the edge needed to push it ahead of the game.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Regulatory Failure

    Regulatory Failure

    When we think of the issues of health and safety that exist in a modern complex economy, it is impossible to imagine that these social goods will be produced... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Dlittle30
  • Is Bulk Hand-Regging Domains Worth the Time and Money Invested?

    Bulk Hand-Regging Domains Worth Time Money Invested?

    From Ali Zandi to Josh E to Rick Schwartz, it’s alway interesting and entertaining to watch industry vets do their thing — especially when the topic is hand... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Worldwide
  • Video: Spring Flooding in Yosemite National Park

    Video: Spring Flooding Yosemite National Park

    Heavy rains and rapid snow melt off have hit Yosemite National Park hard this spring. The park has had some of its more popular and iconic places closed due to... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Kungfujedi
  • The Verdi Project: Rigoletto

    Verdi Project: Rigoletto

    In which our composer creates a sensation and changes the world of opera, forever. by Paul J. Pelkonen Tito Gobbi (with Renata Scotto) looking suitably... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Superconductor
  • the Ship is Sinking

    Mishpacha Magazine (Hebrew edition) has been running an initiative recently promoting new young couples in the Haredi community take on their own mortgages... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Gldmeier
  • Flower Power: Beyond the Beauty

    If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” – Lord Buddha. Life is a journey that is full of special moments; like... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Meet Rv
  • Dress To Impress! 5 Dresses For Your First Date

    Dress Impress! Dresses Your First Date

    Are you looking to make a great first impression on a new man when you show up for your first date with him? Are you conflicted as to how to dress, what... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Meet Rv