Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal

Gentlecore cinema. Not Paddington-levels of gentle, but still infused with an earnestness and warmth that just feels good, especially during These Unprecedented Times. The big moments are mostly quiet scenes of characters being kind to each other in the midst of pain. Humans being bros.

Riz Ahmed really levels up here. He's got a Steph Curry quality to him, in that he can command the screen and dazzle when needed, but there’s also a restraint and generosity in how he shares the screen with others, particularly Paul Raci (so good) and the mostly non-professional deaf actors. The movie soars highest when his character’s journey temporarily recedes into the background during the middle section in the deaf community.

That’s why it’s a shame when the openness and possibility of that middle section give way to plot machinations designed to send us home with a professional screenwriter’s definition of a “satisfying” conclusion. The performances in the third act are excellent, but something about it feels a bit too tidy, a little too Sundance tasteful. There’s a rush to reach the finish line that feels off, especially for a movie about embracing stillness.

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