Oscar Movies: Whiplash–Simmons, Best Supporting Actor

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A highlight of recent American independent cinema, “Whiplash” won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Fest (in January) and played to great acclaim in the Directors Fortnight at Cannes Fest (in May).  It screened in the Special Presentations section at the Toronto Film Fest before opening in theaters October 10.

Sony Classics has unveiled the first official trailer for “Whiplash,” starring Miles Teller as a young drummer and J.K. Simmons as his abusive instructor.

whiplash_4_simmonsIn a breakthrough performance that maight make him a star, Miles Teller, who had made an impression in “Divergent,” plays Andrew Neiman, a drumming prodigy who comes under the tutelage of  the fearsome and tyrannical conductor (Simmons) at a top music conservatory.

Intense, the student-teacher dynamic relastionship get to the point in which chairs are hurled and face is brutally slapped.

As direced by Damien Chazelle, the film offers a riveting look at the world oc competitive jazz band.

whiplash_3The trailer includes Simmons punishing Teller verbally — “If you deliberately sabotage my band, I will gut you like a pig” — and giving him a loud unseen slap.

 

Shot in only 20 days, “Whiplash” delivers geuine excitement, based on the conviction of Chazelle that the music sequences “feel like thrilling action scenes.”

whiplash_1_simmons_tellerTo shoot the virtuostic drum riffs, Teller had to train for months, to the point of actually bleeding from his hands.  Teller, who had played in garage bands in high school, immersed himself so deeply in the process, resulting in sharp imagery of sweath, blisters, and bloody sticks.