Thursday, January 16, 2014

WHIPLASH NEVER MISSED A BEAT: Opening Night Film of the Sundance Film Festival by Pamela Powell

WHIPLASH opened to a packed house at the Eccles Theater located at the Park City High School for the beginning of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  This huge venue was sold out and with good reason.  As Robert Redford walked to the podium, the audience quickly rose as he received a standing ovation.  Never have I attended an opening night film where Mr. Redford began the introductions.  He joked that he and his staff wanted to do something special for the 30th anniversary and he suggested getting a huge birthday cake and he could jump out of it.  Apparently, that idea was quickly nixed.  John Cooper then came to the podium defending himself and the fact that he had voted FOR the birthday cake stunt.  I concur, John.

As I gazed around the audience, I saw Katie Couric in front of me who was here not only for the premiere of this film but for her film FED UP which I can't wait to see.  Behind me was the Tribeca Film Festival Director Geoffrey Gilmore who has a long standing relationship with Sundance.  There were many more stars surrounding me, but apparently I was blinded as I couldn't recall their names.  That being said, the real star of the night was WHIPLASH.

WHIPLASH is a film that was originally a short that appeared at Sundance just last year.  Now upon its return just one short year later as a full length feature film, it wowed the audience.  Please come back for a full review of this spectacular film about passion for what you do, how far can you push the limits, and how strong are you emotionally.  J. K. Simmons and Miles Teller's performances are unbelievably intense.  The writing is strong and the music cuts through your very core.

I am sure this film will be picked up probably as I type these words.  It's an emotional roller coaster that you hope your child will never experience; although you want him or her to be the very best.  But at what cost?

When this film comes out, and it will, see it.