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Welcome to Miles Teller Online, your first online source for the young American actor. We provide the latest information, news and photos to keep you up to date. You may know Miles from Footloose, 21 & Over, the Divergent series, and Fantastic Four or his up and coming projects. We aim to bring you the best news, media and updates on Miles and his career.

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One of the best films in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, which tracks the story of a destructive mentorship by inverting the rules of a well-worn subgenre. In the case of Miller’s film it was the underdog sports movie, and in Damien Chazelle’s blistering Directors Fortnight entry Whiplash, it’s the inspirational teacher movie.

JK Simmons’s jazz maestro Terence Fletcher is, without doubt, an inspirational teacher. He’s revered as one of the best instructors at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory of Music, and students dream of earning a place in his studio band. He just also happens to be a borderline sociopath, whose methods for fostering talent include subjecting his students to what can only be described as psychological warfare, from verbal abuse all the way through to subtle emotional manipulation.

When Fletcher sets his sights on aspiring drummer Andrew Niemen (Miles Teller), a shy, eyes-to-the-ground type with a hidden core of steel, it’s the beginning of a deeply twisted dynamic that surprises at every turn. Andrew’s rare talent is plain, but despite giving him a shot in the band Fletcher seldom shows him anything but vicious, naked contempt. “Oh, Christ, are you one of those one-tear people?” he snaps during an early rehearsal, having made Andrew cry within the space of five minutes.

But as Teller’s disquieting performance makes clear, this isn’t the story of a victim; in fact, teacher and student are more attuned than initially seems possible. Andrew wants nothing more than to be remembered as a great drummer – a telling scene with his jock brother reveals that he would sooner be great than be liked.

Forged in the fire of Fletcher’s tutelage, Andrew becomes uglier and harder and more single-minded, his ruthless ambition bulldozing everything in its wake including his fledgling relationship with local girl Nicole (Melissa Benoist).

Chazelle’s editing is sharp and brutal, emphasising the figurative (and often literal) violence at work within the practice room, which is where more than half of the film takes place. Making music often looks effortless in cinema; here drumming is blood and sweat and tears, all of which are produced in liberal amounts by Andrew in his increasingly self-flagellating desperation to win Fletcher’s approval.

Playing the formidable leader is well within Simmons’s wheelhouse, and yet here he cuts an altogether different kind of fearsome figure to the suited types he’s known for – muscular, sinewy, clad entirely in black, he’s somewhere between drill sergeant and lion tamer. The performance is so relentless that as a viewer, you’re co-opted into the same Stockholm Syndrome as Andrew and his fellow students, hanging on Fletcher’s every vicious word in the hopes that a glimpse of tenderness may follow.

Despite being essentially a two-hander shot on a handful of locations, Whiplash delivers some genuinely high-octane thrills, its final act building to a crescendo that leaves you floating from the cinema on the kind of adrenalin high to which most blockbusters can only aspire.

Savagely funny, gripping and exhilarating, Whiplash is a spectacularly accomplished sophomore feature from Chazelle, a taut psychological drama without an ounce of spare flesh on it.

movies: whiplash