Wow. That was one intense film. This actor, Miles Teller, blew me away in The Spectacular Now a couple summers ago and this is an even bigger performance. Melissa Benoist is my new secret crush and I can't wait to see more of her stuff her in more stuff. J.K. Simmons of course is perfectly cast. Good luck recognizing Paul Reiser (Aliens, Mad About You) in this flick. I had no idea that was him.
Quick synopsis: Best music school in the country. Very capable musician that a teacher sees incredible potential in. Teacher decides to push and push in order to make the greatness come out. And then of course when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
It's just a fantastic film, really. It asks some tough questions. It says volumes about Miles Teller in that there's a scene where he makes a difficult decision that I would normally totally disagree with. But because I so was into his performance, I totally understood and reasoned along with him on why he'd make this choice. It's rare that I'm in a character's head like that. This is one of those movies where it's great to grab a pint or coffee right after and talk about it. It's hard not to understand why each character acts the way they do. Everything seems justifiable. Loved this movie.
Heart rating: 5 stars
Brain rating: 4.5 stars (I think the screenwriters made too easy a decision during the film's climax, I don't think things always need to be this over the top).