Finally, it’s that time of the cinematic year that I’ve long been waiting for. Awards season. Later this month, the academy of motion picture arts and sciences will hold what is perhaps most diverse Oscar’s ceremony of all time, however the odds on anyone actually seeing the nominated films is fairly slim. Whilst we wait for best picture nominee’s The Father, Promising Young Woman and Judas and the Black Messiah to open in cinemas, whenever that will be, fortunately, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank and Minari can all be watched right now from the comfort of your own home. This being said, not of the nominees have committed fully to VOD or cinemas. One such film is; Sound of Metal, which will stream on Amazon Prime for a time, before releasing in cinemas in May.
The film tells the story of Ruben Stone, played by Riz Ahmed, a heavy metal drummer who starts to rapidly lose his hearing. With the support of his girlfriend and band member Lou, played by Olivia Cooke, Ruben is introduced to Joe, played by Paul Raci, who runs a deaf community and will help Ruben adjust to his new way of life, however, Ruben has his heart set on an expensive implant that may help him hear again.
Sound of Metal is unlike anything I have seen or heard before. Writer, director Darius Marder has gone to great lengths to create a truly unique audio visual experience. With subtitles burned into the film (Yes that is on purpose), as well as, an exceptionally experimental sound design from Nicolas Becker and his team, Marder gives us a glimpse into the deaf perspective which is nothing less than insightful. It would be criminal if the film doesn’t take home the Sound design Oscar and I truly believe Darius Marder has been snubbed of a best director nomination.
As well as an exceptional director and sound team, Sound of Metal boasts strong performances from its cast. Olive Cooke and Paul Raci deliver great performances, but this film is all about Riz Ahmed. Oozing with passion and demonstrating an impressively wide acting range, Riz Ahmed is captivating to watch as he perfectly brings Marder’s deaf perspective to life. Although Chadwick Boseman will most likely win best actor this year, don’t count Riz Ahmed out just yet.
Overall, Sound of Metal is a cinematic masterpiece brought to life through a passionate lead performance and pioneering sound design and direction. Profound, informative and compelling from start to finish, Sound of Metal is a unique cinematic experience that ironically, shouldn’t fall on deaf ears.
Sound of Metal won a BAFTA for Best Sound and is out TOMORROW on Amazon Prime and in cinemas on May 17th