Parker’s a young kid, pretty good on the sax, gets up to play at a cutting session, and he fucks it up. And Jones nearly decapitates him for it. And he’s laughed off stage. But the next morning, what does he do? He practices. And he practices, and he practices with one goal in mind: Never too be laughed at again. And a year later he goes back to the Reno and he steps up on that stage and he plays the best motherfucking solo the world has ever heard. So imagine if Jones just said “Well, that’s okay Charlie. That was alright. Good job.” Then Charlie thinks to himself “Well, shit. I did do a pretty good job.” End of story. No Bird. That, to me, is an absolute tragedy. But that’s just what the world wants now. People wonder why jazz is dying. I’ll tell you, man - and every Starbucks “jazz” album just proves my point, really - there are no two words in the English language more harmful than “good job”.
If delivering this dialogue gets you an award, how on Earth does writing it not also get you one? Never mind the precise shots, impeccable pace, midpoint that could have been a short movie on its own, and the adrenaline-surge-inducing ending that is musical, cinematic, and deeply philosophical all at once. Movies at their best.
Directed by Damien Chazelle, 2014