10DoO #10 – Whiplash (2014)

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by Jaime Grijalba.

It’s minutes before the Oscars and I’ve yet to finally acknowledge my complex feelings towards this movie, which many have said it’s among their favorites of the year, and even among those that are their favorite films in a long time. I come here to say: Maybe. Maybe it’s a good movie, it does sport the most impressive and incredible editing that I’ve seen this year, apart from ‘Boyhood’ (2014) that is, but at the same time it sports the worst cinematography that I’ve seen in a well-loved movie in the longest time. While I don’t think that the cinematography of ‘The Theory of Everything’ (2014) is necessary better, I truly find it surprising that the neon/orange tainted screen that this film seems to relish on is entirely unspoken about. Surely, some of the long-winded camera movements are impressive, but when accompanied with an awful and unspeakable color, there’s nothing really to be had. I’m just harsh on this movie, because I think that there’s a double standard coming from some people: they mock and make fun off something like 50 Shades of Grey, about the issue of abuse from a powerful man and how he takes advantage of a weak woman, entering a contract in which any kind of abuse is allowed and accepted by the seemingly inferior being; yet, ‘Whiplash’ (2014) is exactly the same thing: an abusive male figure that abuses and yells and defeats any kind of illusion of its more submissive young figure that takes the abuse as it forms part of a contract that is the relation teacher-student. Interesting stuff there, huh? Anyway, I still think that it’s a good movie overall, at least in terms of how it manages to give us J.K. Simmons’s performance, the superb editing and the way that the script makes us tense and moves us around, cutting narrative here and there, making it one of the most interesting films and an auspicious debut… but far from the best film that I saw in 2014. Like, I can think of 30-odd more films better than this. Sorry guys, maybe I need a drum to the head.

8/10

Following this, my classic list. Look at that number 1, it’s not even nominated. How embarrasing.

The 10 Days of Oscar Ranking:

1. Interstellar (2014, Christopher Nolan)

2. Boyhood (2014, Richard Linklater)

3. Birdman (2014, Alejandro González Iñárritu)

4. Foxcatcher (2014, Bennett Miller)

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, Wes Anderson)

6. Whiplash (2014, Damien Chazelle)

7. Selma (2014, Ava DuVernay)

8. The Imitation Game (2014, Morten Lydlum)

9. American Sniper (2014, Clint Eastwood)

10. The Theory of Everything (2014, James Marsh)

Hope you enjoyed!

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