Out of all of the Oscar nominees for Best Picture, the film I wanted to see the most this year was ‘Whiplash’.
I actually had no idea what it was until my parents had seen it when it was initially released. They came out of it and told me that I absolutely had to see it.
I’m a jazz musician myself. Music has always been one of my biggest passions throughout my entire life. My father is a retired music teacher and runs a big band of his own. I grew up listening to so many variations of jazz, thanks to my dad.
Upon entering college, one thing I needed to keep in my life was music. Specifically jazz. As a saxophonist, I just never really got into a lot of classical music. Jazz and Rock is where it’s at, as far as I’m concerned.
Finally learning what this movie was in October, I’ve been dying to see it. I finally got to it before the Oscars, and I am so happy I did.
I love everything about this. The acting, the story, the characterizations, and of course, the music. It’s filmed simply, but well. It doesn’t need that stylistic camerawork that ‘Birdman’ had. While I loved ‘Birdman’ and understand why it won Best Picture, this movie truly resonated with me a lot more. It didn’t need to be artsy-fartsy, it just needed to hit me emotionally, which it did.
Of course, I could relate to it. I’ve been involved with multiple jazz ensembles throughout my life, and I’m currently in two of them here at school. I know what it’s like to be scared of the music in front of you. Musicians are trained to always play as if they’re performing, even if they’re just rehearsing.
Though I haven’t had an instructor as cruel as the Fletcher (played by J.K. Simmons), I understand how it feels to always be in the mindset to prove yourself to them. Music performance is one of the professions where perfection is almost an absolute necessity. That can be a lot of pressure. And so for Miles Teller’s character, I really felt for him when his situation of perfection was elevated because of his instructor. He literally bleeds, and nearly gets killed in order to obtain a positive opinion of Fletcher.
J.K. Simmons received an Oscar for his performance in this, and truly deserved it. He was absolutely menacing and terrifying. While you grow to hate the character, the film does make you understand where he is coming from. This is always a great thing to do for the main antagonist. He explains that he is trying to bring about the next Charlie Parker and that the phrase “good job” are the two most harmful words in the English language.
This movie has one of the greatest endings I’ve ever seen. The final 10 minutes is an endless drum solo, that is a pure adrenaline rush. When the credits roll, you will want to cheer. You will feel so happy and proud at the end, I guarantee it.
I really don’t have much else to say about it. To me, ‘Whiplash’ is a perfect feel good movie. It gets nothing less than an A+.
There it is. My first perfect rating on here. Musician or not, it WILL make you feel good in the same way the original ‘Rocky’ does. Definitely one of my top picks of 2014. See this movie!!!