I'm a drummer. Are you a drummer? If you are a drummer, you will like Whiplash. If you've never played drums, you will like Whiplash. If you are the Academy, you will like Whiplash…just not enough to give it more than 1 (deserving) award. If you are not aware, J.K. Simmons has been crowned as a shoe-in for Best Supporting Actor; its like a serious version of his Spider-Man character. I say, why not give it Best Picture as well? In a field that sports many strong flicks, Whiplash clearly stands out for me. Here's 5 reasons why this remains the case:
1) (duh) J.K. Simmons: He just owns this joint like none other, man. Intense and focused to the point of being totally out of control, this is a guy who makes his presence felt…for better or worse!
2) The Music: It's jazzy! Well…it actually is jazz. With a swing-time flourish. It really works in this film, and its just good movie music in general. More story tension is created due to working with a 15-piece band or whatever it is, and you get the idea that stakes are on the line. And honestly, who doesn't like a bunch of great *DRUMMING!* There's also heavy drum usage in Best Picture favorite Birdman, and its also great…but Whiplash is all about that shit! The Academy ought to recognize when a film has fresh subject matter.
3) Mr. Fantastic and Supergirl: Marvel and DC Go To War!!! Ha…I knew those words would work in the Moviepilot universe. Anyways, you have these 2 hot young actors who are right now poised to spearhead differing superhero franchises. See them before they were famous! Also, you have Paul Reiser in there…the guy from Aliens! Honestly, the acting as a general ensemble, including Miles Teller and Melissa Benoist, is really well-done.
4) The Directors Name: Damien Chazelle. That just sounds legit. I'd like to see him win even more than Morten Tyldum. Plus, he looks like such a film director. No seriously, he's good.
5) The Story: It's like an inspirational film with a warning. The general plot might not play to most people - indicated by its modest $10 million domestic gross to date - but the themes can resonate with anyone. The Academy ought to recognize films that bring up things anyone can relate to. Ain't this the goal of every movie, really? "Oscar"- type films can often be far removed from the actual lifestyle of the audience, but Whiplash is firmly grounded in reality. Recognize!
Just watch it and let me know what you think, and if you agree. Cheers.
Oh, and you can check out my original review of the film here: