Teller plays an ambitious young drummer named Andrew who wants to be one of the best. Things appear to be going his way — until J.K. Simmons, as his professor, turns into something of a raving, abusive lunatic despite earlier signs that he’d be a good mentor.
Having projectiles launched at his head, being slapped and thoroughly humiliated in front of his fellow classmates, Andrew is pushed to the edge by his teacher, who becomes increasingly more of a nemesis than a mentor. Who knew being a band geek could be so intense?
“Whiplash” won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. It went on to play in the Director’s Fortnight sidebar at Cannes and is set for a Special Screening at the Toronto International Film Festival in September as well.
Sony Pictures Classics will release it in the U.S. on Oct. 10.