Still better than La La Land don’t @ me (again)
Release date: October 10, 2014
Director: Damien Chazelle
Who should watch this movie: Conservatory students. People who can play wonderwall on the guitar and call themselves “a musician.”
When should you watch this movie: When you need a study break. When you’re thinking of dropping out of school
The sell: Whiplash was clearly made by someone who never went to music school, but that’s part of what makes it amazing. The story works in part because it is so outlandish and entirely outside of the reality we are used to. Everything in this movie is heightened. The stakes, the intensity, the music, and J.K. Simmons’ bald head. It’s a hyper dramatization of something that would otherwise be considered boring (or at least opaque to most audiences). Damien Chazelle has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to music (lol sorry), but he does a superb job at portraying a toxic relationship, abuse of authority, and the consequences of competition. This could have been a sports movie about a pro athlete pushing their body to the breaking point for the win, but instead it’s about a drummer pushing his body to the breaking point for the win. It’s exciting and also great meme fodder.