Aronne Ibarra’s review published on Letterboxd:
You guys said it was good, I just saw it now, and I couldn't agree more. Darius Marder's Sound of Metal is one heck of a film and I couldn't help but ask whether or not I should include it my 2020 Ranked list, because it's certainly top three if I were to include it.
I love stories like this. Tales of the obsessed artist. People doing what they love. Sound of Metal takes this concept and presents a daunting possibility--a possibility of the physical body failing us right at our peak.
How hard must that be to accept...the one thing that keeps you living taken away by powers out of your control? Might as well kill yourself. But no, life keeps on going and one must learn to keep going as well. The changes are harsh and frustrating to accept but it's one way to live.
Riz Ahmed was spectacular in Sound of Metal. His acting was easily one of the best parts of the film. He burns with rage, impatience, close-mindedness, and denial while also reflecting and observing at the same time. In short, a raw and human acting display. Through his eyes, body language, and voice, the viewer is put into a different sensory experience and it's one of the aspects that makes Sound of Metal what it is. I can see a Best Actor nomination for him and all I can say is that he deserves anything great that comes his way through and through.
Olivia Clarke and the rest of the cast were terrific as well. Everyone contributed a highly-realistic performance that it's almost documentary. The acting is indeed strong and anchors the film down to firm ground.
Apart from Ahmed's captivating performance, the highlight of Sound of Metal is its sound. Everything related with sound--whether it be design, mixing, or editing--was perfection and is certainly the best of the year in those categories. I could see the film getting a sweep for all the sound awards in any awards show. The subject matter of the film was clearly optimized for this kind of technical brilliance and the team jumped on it and delivered.
Nothing was overdone and the sound works perfectly alongside the beautiful and poignant cinematography. The cinematography is nothing so crazy and it sticks to the fundamentals. And guess what, the fundamentals work. Filmmaking at its purest and finest here.
Though some scenes felt a little too long and dry for my cup of tea, Sound of Metal remains a consistent, entertaining, and riveting watch. Most of the film is well-paced and well-edited and no beats were missed. It double-kicks right into the conflict and it was on tempo from there.
It offers a new and visceral experience on accepting changes and taking it slowly. I think the ending is one of the most beautiful and most effective ones I have seen. That sometimes, we tend to be so angry and controlling of what we have and we forget to just sit down and have a break--have a break from the sound of crashing cymbals and relentless snare drums. Have a break from the sound of metal and listen to the sound of..............................................
Sound of Metal is a simply a wonderful film and I highly recommend it as I believe it's one of the very best of the year. That it says 2019 on its general information gets me confused a little so I'm asking once more if I should include it my 2020 rankings. Heading into midterms week so I may not review a lot of films but Christmas break is almost here so hooray! Shout out to all the people who continue to make noise in their silence and I hope everyone's having a great day! Stay cool guys!