It is Oscar Week! The good-bye to the movies of 2015, and the slow painful turn toward waiting for a movie as good as Deadpool to come alone in 2016 (my guess is The Jungle Book is our first shot). This week will be the unveiling of the 2015 KT Community Pick for Movie of the Year (so vote while you can) and The Renaissance Film Awards. I know posts have been scarce of late, but I’ve not been idle. Actually I’ve been incredibly idle due to a patch of ice, a retaining wall and my incredible lack of dexterity. I’ve put the time I’ve spent in incredible lumbar pain watching as many 2015 movies as I can get my hands on so as to give my most informed opinion when handing out the Rennys and yelling at the TV screen Sunday night. So many reviews will descend upon you in due time. None of this has anything to do with what probably should have won Best Picture last year: Whiplash.
Every now and again, the Academy actually lifts up a gem that no one would have ever gotten to see and gives it the stage to shine on which it deserves. It takes a LOT for me not to have heard of a film, but until JK Simmons started winning every award for Supporting Actor they have to offer last year, I’d never heard of Whiplash. Simmons is a career veteran of a hundred character roles, but in sadistic music teacher Terrence Fletcher, he creates one that will never be forgotten. He’s sort of the polar opposite to Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. My favorite scene is pretty much a tie between every time we see him on screen, but when the newest member of his jazz ensemble is introduced to the Jekyll and Hyde routine on his first day, you get to see Fletcher at his terrifying best. You can’t help but smile and groan for poor Miles Teller as soon as you hear the words: “Not quite my tempo.”