Sound of Metal ★★★★

Priorly knowing a film has awards buzz brings an undesired tension to important dramas in which you can subconsciously keep waiting for the time moments become Moments and everyone makes their bid for glory, so a mostly subdued, tasteful rendition of a story that could easily lend itself to every cliche in the book grows in appreciation even more. In a parallel to 'Another Round', it doesn't even have to heavily display the ugliest facets of addiction for the pressing stakes to be understood, it's still (and almost specially) written all over the characters' faces when things are going well, that and the self-acceptance struggles externalized in Rubin's relation to his changing body are categorically inseparable from one another. Great performances, of course, and the sound design is superb.

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