Sony Classics has another packed slate this season, but with all eyes on Cannes darlings “Foxcatcher” and “Mr. Turner,” Damien Chazelle's “Whiplash” is a lurking threat that could be a powerful little shock to the system.
The film premiered on opening night at Sundance in January, two years after Chazelle took a scene from it in the form of a short film to the Park City fest to test the waters. Sony Classics picked it up and took it to Cannes where it played in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar and we'll probably see it turn up at Telluride and/or Toronto. It provides Miles Teller with an incredible opportunity (I was immensely impressed with him in “The Spectacular Now”) and on the fringe, J.K. Simmons is a bundle of dynamite.
HitFix's Drew McWeeny was mostly positive out of Sundance. Writing about Simmons in particular, he offered that “it is amazing to see what happens when a director finally gives [him] room to really stretch as a performer. He is great in the film, and he doesn't temper the harder aspects of [his character's] personality or try to play him more sympathetic than he should be.”
And by the way, this will indeed be classified as an original screenplay, despite the fact that there was a short. Again, that was merely a sliver of the already-existing feature script. This has always been built as a feature and therefore will compete in the original category.
Check out the new trailer for the film below and tell us what you think.
“Whiplash” hits theaters in limited release on Oct. 10.