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'Whiplash' May Lose Oscar Nomination for Best Original Screenplay Due to a Technicality

by Shawn Christ   Jan 8, 2015 16:28 PM EST

Whiplash is one of 2014's best movies, and it is predicted to take home a few awards at the Oscars. J.K. Simmons gave the performance of his career in the jazz drumming drama and Miles Teller solidified himself as a true Hollywood heavyweight — and a damn fine percussionist. Unfortunately, the movie, directed by Damien Chazelle, may be excluded from the Best Writing category due to a technicality.

As Deadline notes, Whiplash has not been included in the Best Original Screenplay category on initial voting lists. This is due to the fact that in order to get the movie financed, producers shot a brief scene from the script in order to entice funding. That short went on to win an award at the 2012 Sundance competition. The Academy deems it an adaptation of that short, and therefore ineligible to be included in the originals category.

It is an unfortunate spot to be in, especially considering the fact that some voters think it could take home the statue for the category.

"The Academy has made a HUGE mistake!!!" Flight screenwriter and Oscar voter John Gatins wrote. "They are gonna have to ask the writers' branch members to re-vote....and it makes this whole voting process off kilter. HELP!!!...Unless Whiplash is NOT an original-am I crazy? Haven't I read 100 articles about Damien wherein he tells the story of his life being the inspiration for the flick?"

Gatkins is correct. Chazelle told the A.V. Club that he was inspired by his high school jazz band days. Much of Simmons's character comes from the director's former instructor.

Hopefully, this whole mess is sorted out before the nominations are finalized, because Whiplash deserves all the accolades. I watched it recently and was blown away by the film.

Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 15.

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