Best Picture Nominees — Whiplash
The Academy Awards are two weeks away, so we continue our look at this year's Best Picture nominees.
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons), Best Adapted Screenplay (Damien Chazelle), Best Editing, and Best Sound Mixing
About: "Whiplash" was my favorite movie of 2014, and it's my favorite among this year's Best Picture nominees. It's an incredible and intense story of passion and what it takes to be the best. It's drawn comparisons to "Full Metal Jacket," and that's apt. It's a fantastic feature, and the third act is especially compelling. If it were to win Best Picture, I think it would be a completely worthy winner. But it's a long-shot. (We'll look at the two front-runners next week.) It's a small film that did well at festivals and has been a favorite of those who've seen it, but not that many have seen it. Fortunately, thanks to its Best Picture nomination, "Whiplash" was re-released. While it's a long-shot for Best Picture, the film does have a chance at picking up one or two trophies. It could win in the sound mixing category, though that will likely go toward "American Sniper." Typically the two sound awards go to the same film, and since "Whiplash" was nominated in just one of the two categories, that hurts its chances. Similarly, Chazelle did an incredible job with the screenplay, but he's seen as more of a long-shot in that category, too. The one front-runner for "Whiplash" is Simmons, nominated at Best Supporting Actor. He's won a number of awards in that category for the film at other awards, and feels like a lock at the Academy Awards. His performance is fierce and incredible, and was my favorite performance of 2014. He should win. While "Whiplash" might not be named Best Picture on February 22, it's an incredible film that everyone should check out.
Rating: R for strong language including some sexual references.
Verdict: Four stars out of four.
"Whiplash" is now playing in cinemas nationwide.