Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★★★

Visceral without feeling emotionally manipulative, relatable without feeling predictable or trite. This knocked my socks off. Riz Ahmed is a goddamn force of nature, tearing through scenes with such ferocious emotion and vulnerability. Writers Darius and Abraham Marder have crafted such an exposed portrait of rage, desperation, and insecurity. Paul Raci is also fantastic as Joe, an authentic and subtle voice of reason for Ruben; oozing peace with every word. Raci gives a true Best Supporting performance in that he steals every scene he's in while simultaneously elevating the performances of everyone around him. There's a scene in which he confronts Ruben that absolutely WRECKED me - I won't soon forget the conversation that transpired between those two characters.

Multiple times, "Sound of Metal" seems to set the viewer up for a fairly standard story, and each time it doesn't go the way you think. I can’t claim to have even the slightest clue of what it’s like to be deaf, but this film handles the subject with extreme sensitivity, showing what it's like to suddenly lose something that we all take for granted, and how the pain and confusion associated with this loss can leave a person directionless. I am happy to be the one billionth person to tell you that the sound design is incredible, as the movie puts you in the shoes of Ruben as his hearing slowly deteriorates into full deafness. Supervising sound editor Nicolas Becker perfectly utilizes stillness to transport us through the pits of despair into tranquil acceptance. He will no doubt get nominated for Best Sound, but I hope Mikkel E.G. Nielsen gets nominated for Best Editing, as this film clocks in at a perfectly-paced 120 minutes, the perfect length for movies!

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