October 14, 2014

Whipped Up Over Whiplash

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By MARK DISTEFANO

Whiplash, winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is a virtuosic mediation on what happens when an artist goes too far with his craft. It is by turns exhilarating and punishing, far and away the most intense film of the year and certain stretches of it are downright painful to watch. I expected a leisurely paced indie drama, but a case could be made that  this is one of the most violent movies of 2014 — on a psychological level. Razor sharp editing, wicked fast whip pans and tour de force performances from Miles Teller and a volcanic J.K. Simmons add up to an experience that leaves you drained and exhausted and yes, whiplashed, by the time it crashes off its last downbeat.

Courtesy of Sony Picture Classics

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