Whiplash is nominated for five Academy Awards - Best Picture, Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons), Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, and Sound Mixing.
Damien Chazelle wasn't nominated for Best Director but considering that he is only 30 years old I have a feeling he will be back with more amazing movies in the future.
I do wish that Miles Teller was nominated for Best Actor because his performance in Whiplash was pretty amazing/shocking/unexpected/jaw dropping. I know that some people will disagree with me on this but I think Teller deserved the nomination over Steve Carell for Foxcatcher. By the way, you might have noticed that I never did a post about Foxcatcher...well that is because I disliked it very much. Now that I have said that I will probably have to do a post on why I didn't like it. So now you have that to look forward too!
There is a bit of controversy on Whiplash being nominated for Adapted Screenplay though. Bare with me here, this might get confusing. Chazelle wrote the screenplay for Whiplash a few years ago but he couldn't get any funding for it so he wrote a short film based off of his original screenplay. He then entered that short film (click here for the IMDb link) into Sundance and won the Short Film Jury Prize. Because he won he received funding for the original screenplay which he then filmed in 19 days, editing in 10 days and released into theatres on October 15, 2014. Chazelle didn't even consider the film to be an adapted screenplay so he submitted it to the Academy as on original screenplay...and yet they have nominated it for Adapted because "it's based off of the short film" even though that short film was based off the original screenplay. Does that make sense? It's like a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Sometimes it just seems like the Academy doesn't even understand their own job.
I mentioned that the last nine minutes of the movie and J.K. Simmons are the best part of Whiplash. Let's talk about the last nine minutes for a second here. This is where I get into spoilers! First off I don't remember the last time I was so focused and intrigued but the whole movie, from beginning to end. There was never a part where I tuned out (ha ha ha that's punny). I was completely invested while I was watching Whiplash, all four times. And the last nine minutes of the movie just blew me away, I'm pretty sure it blew the whole audience away. I've never heard a movie theatre be so silent at the end of a film when the credits are rolling. Nobody left the theatre during the credits. Nobody talked. Nobody even clapped. The stress that comes from the last scene in the movie coupled with not knowing the outcome of Neyman's (Miles Teller) future just made my brain freeze. I was so conflicted! You don't know if Neyman just wants to give into the crazy, over the top, bullying style of teaching and continue to study jazz music or if this is his last hurrah so he gives it everything he's got. The look on Simmons and Tellers faces at the end just throws your brain for a loop. Is Neyman really going to support Fletcher? Are Fletcher's methods of teaching too over the top if it makes someone the best musician? How far is too far if a student wants to be the next great jazz musician? And then, why am I thinking like this?! Someone killed themselves because of the pressure that started in Flechter's class!! Ugh. The emotional confusion I felt (and I'm sure Shawn did too) after watching Whiplash made for a very quite and thoughtful ride home.
I HIGHLY recommend seeing Whiplash. And if you don't have anyone to watch it with or you don't want to buy it (yet!) let me know and I will invite you over for a movie party because people need to see this movie.
Let me know what you thought about Whiplash if you saw it! And don't forget that I will be live tweeting the Oscars on Sunday night so follow me on Twitter @thrucaitseyes to follow along through all the awkward presenters, mispronunciations of names, and disappointing wins that I don't agree with. It's going to be fun!!