Perfect is a loaded word, in both artistic and religious circles. Can a song be perfect? Can we? Even if most people would answer no (John Wesley aside), many of us still strive toward some idea of perfection. And when we fail to achieve that, the result can be a dizzying case of existential dissonance.

The thrilling new movie Whiplash explores this tension in the context of competitive jazz. As it charts the relationship between a promising young drummer named Andrew (Miles Teller) and his…  [more]