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. (IMDb)
This was one of the most fascinating movies I have seen in some time. On the surface, it’s a classic student/teacher drama, but this movie takes it to the next level. It’s so layered and complex. J.K. Simmons as Fletcher (the teacher) is brilliant. He’s manipulative, flipping emotions and motives on a dime. He makes you constantly questions Fletcher’s motives, and he’ll get you on his side one scene and then alienate you the next. Simmons toys with the audience emotions and sympathies in the same way he toys with Andrew, played by Miles Teller, who also turns in the best performance of his career so far. You want to root for Andrew while at the same time tell him to slow down. His drive is admirable and scary all at the same time. These two actors make this movie so dynamic you never get bored. Overall, this is quickly paced, and is backed by some incredible drum playing and jazz music. This one is a winner in my book.
Note: Would love to discuss student/mentor relationships based on this movie. Is pushing on a student effective? And if it is effective, is it worth it?