Miles Teller is no stranger to festival buzz, and Whiplash's huge showing of success at this year's Sundance Film Festival is just a continuation of his rise to stardom. The film, which co-stars fellow festival veteran J.K. Simmons, won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the field of dramatic narrative films at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Whiplash tells the story of a young man who wants to make it playing Jazz music. But before he becomes the best of the best, he's going to go through musical hell, and that hell is in the form of Simmon's character. Up until now, we've only heard how good this movies. But today we have our first look at the film that won a lot of fans at the first big festival of 2014, and could win the public if given the right chance.
Thanks to the clip distributed on YouTube, audiences can get their first glance at what looks like a drama with some comedic highlights. At least, it can be seen as humorous in this out of context example, as we see young Andrew Neyman being slapped around by instructor Terrance Fletcher, in an attempt to discern how he keeps musical time. A far cry from films where the musical mentor is gentle or soft spoken, like Music Of The Heart and Mr. Holland's Opus, Whiplash replaces that genius with a person of little patience and high standards. Gone is the emotionally manipulating storytelling, and in its place is a product that looks more raw and unpredictable.
Both Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons have huge franchise pictures ahead of them, with Teller being the new Mr. Fantastic in Fantastic Four and Simmons playing the role of an "alcoholic detective" in Terminator: Genesis. While both of those films will be undoubtedly less subtle and more flashy than Whiplash, it's nice to know that both actors have the opportunity to play character roles that will keep them interesting, sharp, and in the specific case of what we just saw – red in the face.
Whiplash hits theaters on October 10th, and is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. As soon as we have the first trailer in our hands, we'll report back with the results. In the meantime, if you're curious to hear how the tune is supposed to sound, sans dragging or rushing, then please enjoy this version of the tune as played by the US Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors.