demi adejuyigbe’s review published on Letterboxd:
there are few things more grating to me than describing a piece of art as “for the times” or “exactly what we need right now,” as if that means anything, but i was really struck by just how impeccably current Sound of Metal feels without being, like, directly about living through a pandemic. it’s a film about the trauma of having to adapt to new life circumstances that have been thrust upon you. it’s about not processing said circumstances as something to fix, but something to adapt to. you watch ruben go through every stage of the kubler-ross grief model, fully understanding where the story has to end. and though the analogy isn’t a 1:1 (the pressures of ruben’s new circumstances are not supposed to be lessened by a sympathetic and just government intervention) it’s so easy to watch his life take these turns and recognize it flowing the same way our lives should have unfolded over the past 9 months, had we not each been tackling different stages at different times instead of processing the grief altogether. feels like we’re all stuck in a collective bargaining phase (but not the good kind of collective bargaining.)
in watching him tackle this grief, there’s a catharsis. and in a few other parts of this movie, there’s equal parts love and joy and heartbreak and frustration and hope and all the sorts of feelings you can kind of expect from anything derek cianfrance touches. real hard to watch this back-to-back with Minari and hold back both happy and sad tears in that first hour. gonna give myself an emotional break by going to watch something light like a snuff film
edit: can’t believe i forgot to mention how GREAT this whole cast is. felt particularly moved by every face paul raci makes!