Whiplash has been nominated for 5 "Academy Awards" this year, including for "Best Picture." It is nominated alongside 7 other films, each very memorable in their own right. For a film with quite a small-scale story, Whiplash has rightfully emerged as one of the biggest films of 2015.
It doesn't have the panoramic cinematography of "American Sniper," but it has an intensity that matches it. It doesn't contain the moving true story that "The Imitation Game" or "The Theory of Everything" does, yet it's every bit as interesting to watch. I think the ace up Whiplash's sleeve is the ICONIC performance of J.K. Simmons. While the other "Best Picture" nominees each contain their own wonderful performances by an array of great actors, J.K. Simmons managed to create something unforgettable with his role. This is a truly intense movie that is both entertaining and cringe-inducing. It won't win "Best Picture", but I would be cheering the loudest if it did.