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Sundance red carpet photos: Music-themed drama 'Whiplash' is intense exploration of perfection

Published January 17, 2014 11:18 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"Whiplash," directed by Damien Chazelle about a talented young drummer under the direction of a ruthless instructor, made its premiere Thursday, Jan. 16, as part of Day One at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City.

Here is the review:

"Whiplash"

U.S. Dramatic

*** 1/2 (three and a half stars)

In this intense music-themed drama, director-writer Damien Chazelle constructs a fearsome duet between his lead characters: A talented and ambitious college drummer, Andy (Miles Teller), and the hard-driving conductor, Dr. Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), who hurls insults and plays mind games to drive him to the brink of insanity.

Chazelle writes acid-drenched dialogue, and hands Simmons a role he tears into harder than anything he's done since the prison drama "Oz."

Teller gives as good as he gets, and the pair riff sharply in an ever-rising series of harrowing encounters that reveal how far Andy will go to be the best. —

Sundance screenings

"Whiplash" screens again Friday at 9 a.m. at the Eccles Theatre, Park City; Friday at 6 p.m. at the Sundance Screening Room at the Sundance resort; Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City; Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. at The MARC, Park City; Thursday at 11:30 p.m. at the Prospector Square Theatre, Park City; and Friday, Jan. 24, at 3:30 p.m. at Peerys Egyptian Theater, Ogden.