Sunday Mirror


Cert 15 ★★★★


Amazon Prime Video from tomorrow, in cinemas from May 17

It worked for Eddie Redmayne with The Theory Of Everything, Jamie Foxx with Ray, and Daniel Day-Lewis with My Left Foot. But will Sound Of Metal bring British actor Riz Ahmed a well-deserved Oscar?

In this slow-burning drama, the Rogue One star is following a well-trodden path to a Best Actor gong by playing a talented man struggling with a disability.

Ahmed, the first Muslim to be nominated for the award, stakes his claim with a finely calibrated turn as Ruben Stone, a heavy metal drummer who fears he may have to hang up his sticks after losing his hearing.

His understate­d performanc­e chimes beautifull­y with the sound design of fellow nominee Nicolas Becker, who slowly drains the little symphonies of everyday life from the soundtrack.

In the opening scene, the whirrs of a coffee machine and the sound of a needle landing on a record score Ruben’s morning as he wakes up in his mobile home with his girlfriend and bandmate Lou (Olivia Cooke).

Soon, those sounds will be replaced by a deafening ringing followed by muffled speech and then silence. A visit to an audiologis­t leads him to a rehab centre where deaf Vietnam vet Joe (an excellent Paul Raci) teaches sign language and preaches acceptance.

So when Ruben starts researchin­g experiment­al cochlear implants, he clashes with Joe and his hard-won stoicism.

The plot moves to the same beats as last year’s Mogul Mowgli where Ahmed played a rapper mulling over a treatment for an autoimmune condition. But this is less showy and a far more accomplish­ed film – and Ahmed’s purposeful­ly quiet performanc­e is genuinely Oscar-worthy.

 ??  ?? OSCAR WORTHY Riz Ahmed as drummer Ruben Stone
OSCAR WORTHY Riz Ahmed as drummer Ruben Stone

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