A devastatingly powerful new film explores every musician’s nightmare: losing your hearing

7 June 2021, 06:00

Sound of Metal
Sound of Metal. Picture: Vertigo Releasing

In ‘Sound of Metal’, British actor Riz Ahmed stars in a brutal exploration of music, loss and change. It’s just one of a number of fantastic films on offer this summer, as we reconnect with the magic of the big screen.

Sound of Metal

If your life is sound, what if your ability to hear it was taken away? A new film takes a deeply honest look at the agony experienced by one musician who has to adapt to a silent world.

Composers Ludwig van Beethoven, Gabriel Fauré and Ralph Vaughan Williams were all impacted by a cruel, creeping deafness. Tinnitus has also impacted rockers from Ozzy Osbourne and Eric Clapton to Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin.

In Sound of Metal, by American director Darius Marder and starring British actors Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke, heavy metal drummer Ruben Stone is touring the US and living his musical dreams. It’s a life at the highest volume in almost every way.

Suddenly, Ruben is confronted with the fact that his hearing has been profoundly damaged, with more deterioration to come quickly. What follows is an exploration of anger, denial, anxiety, addiction, and the fragility of all things we can so easily take for granted.

The film was nominated for five Oscars at the 2021 Academy Awards and won two, for Best Film Editing and Best Sound. Telegraph film critic Tim Robey called it “two intimate and frightening hours”.

Warning: trailer contains strong language

Supernova

Musical connections continue in Harry Macqueen’s beautiful and tender love story, Supernova. Colin Firth plays a pianist, Sam, who is traveling across England with his partner of 20 years, Tusker, played by Stanley Tucci.

Two years ago, Tusker was diagnosed with dementia, and film is a poignant exploration of their time together, their hopes, fears and precious memories.

The Father

A powerful portrayal of dementia takes place in this film too. Anthony Hopkins plays an ageing man who refuses all assistance from his daughter, played by Olivia Colman. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality. This acclaimed film features a moving score from star composer-pianist Ludovico Einaudi.

The film was nominated for six Oscars at the 93rd Academy Awards, with Hopkins going on to win Best Actor.

The Last Letter From Your Lover

Based on the bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter From Your Lover centres on a pair of interwoven love stories across two time periods. The film follows an ambitious journalist in present-day London who uncovers a trove of secret love letters from 1965, and is determined to solve the mystery of the star-crossed affair that they reveal. Augustine Frizzell’s romantic drama stars Felicity Jones, Shailene Woodley, Callum Turner Nabhaan Rizwaan and Joe Alwyn, with an evocative soundtrack penned by classical violinist Daniel Hart.

Stillwater

This is the arresting new outing for the Academy Award-winning director of Spotlight, Tom McCarthy. An oil-rig worker from Oklahoma learns his estranged daughter has been arrested in Marseille, France, for a murder she claims she didn’t commit. Matt Damon stars in a crime drama within this thrilling clash of styles, cultures and justice systems.

Celebrate the return of movies and fall in love with the big screen all over again with Love Cinema.