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Sundance’s big 2014 winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, this riveting, percussive drama also drummed up Mill Valley’s Audience Award. Miles Teller stars as Andrew Neiman, an ambitious young jazz drummer, who joins an elite New York music conservatory’s top ensemble, run by Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), an instructor famous for his teaching talents as well as his terrifying methods. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher pushes him to the brink of both his ability and his sanity. Since its Sundance premiere in January, Whiplash has continued to amass honors, including multiple citations of J.K. Simmons for Best Supporting Actor. Rated R. With Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Chris Mulkey. Writer/Director: Damien Chazelle. (US 2014) 106 min.

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