J.K. Simmons earned a well deserved Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor earlier this week, thanks to his performance in Damian Chazelle's Best Picture contender, Whiplash. If you haven't seen it yet, and need some incentive to secure the nearest copy for your viewing pleasure, we shall let Dr. Fletcher do the work for us to convince you in this supercut of motivational wisdom.
Congratulations to all of you who survived, and massive kudos go to YouTube user Dsfarslowfor showing just how much Whiplash truly earned its Best Film Editing Oscar as well. Don't be fooled by the 1:40 length of this video, because in that span Fletcher metaphorically burns your house down, has his way with a family member, and eats the family pet... all in the form of verbal abuse and assault. While his tone is threatening, you have to admit that the man is extremely clever and laser focused with his jabs.
Of course, at the center of the superb writing and the visual style is J.K. Simmons and his pitch perfect delivery. To be able to use such profanity and anti-politically incorrect rhetoric at such a breakneck pace is enough proof that the man's one of the best actors working in the modern film scene. But to be able to also balance such remarks with periodic inflections of humor and real personality? That's something they pass out awards for. The brilliance in Simmons’ performance wasn’t just about screaming profanities, but also because of the deeper philosophy that character possesses – as seen in the jazz club clip below:
To paraphrase Fletcher's very own advice, any fucking moron can raise their voice and look scary. But J.K. Simmons manages to not just look the part, but to embody the fear inducing presence that Terence Fletcher is supposed to be on the page. As excellent as Birdman handled similar subjects of obsession, egoism, and triumphing over the adversity of the asshole, it's not hard to feel that we might have been robbed by seeing Whiplash lose out to the superhero meditation on arrogance in the Best Picture race. But on the extremely bright side, if there was a single award that the film could have been awarded that would have summed up just how brilliant it really was, it was the Best Supporting Actor trophy J.K. Simmons netted.
Whiplash is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD, and believe it when we say that it's just your tempo.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.