Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal ★★★★

The Sound of Metal is an amazingly performed story of trying to find peace in forced silence. The real star here beyond the firm and introspective direction of Darius Marder (who seems to be channeling his inner Terrence  Malick) is a truly remarkable performance by Riz Ahmed.

It’s that performance by Ahmed struggling with the sheer terror and weight of becoming deaf that make The Sound of Metal one of the best films of 2020. Every performance in the film feels real and earned. There is one scene near the end of the film that contains little dialog but the audience can understand every emotion and feeling that Ahmed and Olivia Cooke are putting on the screen. It’s remarkable for its economy of performance.

The other obvious standout here is the sound editing, which through either headphones or a decent surround sound system adds an additional layer to the film. Ironic that sound design has so much to do with a film regarding hearing loss, but it is nearly as important as the performances themselves. Another remarkable layer, one which would have been something to experience in a theater any other year.

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