Michael Cox’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Ruben. As you know, everybody here shares in the belief that being deaf is not a handicap. Not something to fix. It's pretty important around here. All these kids... all of us, need to be reminded of it every day." - Joe
Again, another banger near the end of the year. We're in it now, boys. Awards Season. *sniffs* And it smells bleedin' fantastic! Gosh, I missed you!
Sound of Metal is a film that's a forceful reminder of us to be thankful and gracious of the fact that most of us still have our five senses: touch, sight, taste, smell, and lastly, hearing. It explores the idea of taking one of those away in a very real and possible way and one of those senses being hearing. I probably won't ever disregard the warning my phone gives me when listening to music with headphones on anymore, that's for sure. I make a lot of jokes about my hearing being that of an 80-year-old woman because often I'll hear things that I think don't make sense/gibberish, like to double-check to make sure I heard right or I just didn't hear what they said at all. Seeing that this could be a real possibility in my future is terrifying. The film itself is an emotional, heartbreaking, and sometimes heartwarming journey of a man now forced to face a new life. The film also deals with addiction, but not in the way you think. Rather, it's more of the addiction to this idea that we have to constantly be doing something. It's a film that asks us to be able to adapt to change and accept whatever life throws at us. It asks us to appreciate the stillness in our lives.
My gosh, this is one of the best-directed films this year and helps when you place such an emphasis on sound from the beginning of the film to the end, so when it is eventually gone, you begin to appreciate it more when there are scenes that involve muffled noises and no sound whatsoever. It helps when the film starts out with it sounding normal and thanks to the brilliant sound design, slowly morph into muffling, warping, or silence. As soon as I heard the synopsis of the film, I knew it would be on top of its game when it came to sound and it was. The cinematography also really worked well as it felt pretty personal along with it feeling real to me.
The performances are all top-notch. Olivia Cooke (Lou) gives a really great performance and I can't wait to see more of what she does. Paul Raci (Joe) has had a lot of talk around his performance and his final scene with Riz Ahmed (Ruben Stone) solidified it as one of the best supporting performances this year. I'll be definitely rooting for him to get nominations along with some wins.
Riz Ahmed. What can I say? What a fantastic performance, my guy. My gosh. One of the best performances this year. He felt so honest in his portrayal of a man seeing his life deteriorate before his eyes yet unable to see that he's slowly building a new one as well. I'll also be rooting for him to get some nominations.
The film has some issues with its pacing, as there were times where it slowed down a little too much for me. But that's my only really big gripe.
It's an excellent film and I'm hoping you guys check it out as soon as possible!