Banging the drum for an Oscar-winning portrayal at Royston Picture Palace

Whiplash

Whiplash - Credit: Archant

All the talk when character king JK Simmons romped to his expected Best Supporting Actor Oscar last month was about how he normally played such avuncular figures, and portraying a monster was so out or character.

Clearly those critics never caught the cult American prison drama Oz, where the twinkly-eyed Mr Simmons was as evil a bag of bones as was ever banged up in a maximum security facility.

In Whiplash – which has also picked up top awards for film editing and sound mixing – he’s a driven and demanding drum teacher determined to squeeze the last ounce of talent out of his latest protege.

Fresh-faced writer director Damien Chazelle was himself a student drummer, and used his own experiences to build this low-budget tale which has been acclaimed by the critics.

Set against the tyrant teacher is the fanatical wannabe played by Miles Teller, so driven by his need to win his master’s approval that he’s prepared to practice until his hands bleed.


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You can catch the film on Friday evening at Royston’s Picture Palace, with the action starting at 7.30pm.

Visit www.roystonpicturepalace.org.uk to book tickets.

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That’s the only fresh film showing at the venue this week – Saturday evening is given over to a charity screening of Mamma Mia! to raise funds for the Home-Start charity, so if you don’t mind listening to Pierce Brosnan’s excuse for singing and fancy a return visit to the eternally chirpy Greek islands, call 07762 754809 to book tickets.

Scheduled for general release this week is a reunion between gruff leading man Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Sera, who brought us the recent by the numbers thriller Non-Stop.

In Run All Night Liam plays an ageing hitman forced to take on his brutal former boss to protect his estranged son and his family.

It’s the latest in a long run of geriaction roles for the big guy, and Schindler’s List seems a very long time ago.

Also on offer is Suite Francaise, with Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas and Margot Robbie all featuring in a tale of forbidden love in occupied France during the Second World War, based on the bestselling book of the same title.

There’s also X + Y, a 12A comedy drama for younger viewers about a troubled teenage maths prodigy competing in an international contest. Asa Butterfield is centre stage as the numbers king, while Rafe Spall pops up as his inspiration teacher, who was also a maths prodigy in his day.

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