There is a lot that could be said about Sound Of Metal (2019). The performances, the cinematography, the writing, the sound design, etc. But, I want to talk about one specific aspect of the film, the subtitles.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Sound Of Metal is about a drummer who starts to go deaf. In the film, he goes to live in a community of deaf people, so that he can learn how to live. Specifically, part of it is learning sign language. This is where the subtitles come in. When he first arrives at the community. There are no subtitles for when people talk using sign language. Because, the main character doesn’t know it. This helps the audience (provided that they don’t know sign language) relate to the main character. We feel as lost and confused and alone as he does. But, once he starts learning sign language, we get the subtitles. We, as the audience, now get to connect with the community of deaf people just like the main character.
It is just a wonderfully small and easy to miss detail that elevates the movie, in my opinion, to a whole other level. Add that on top of the incredible writing, heart breaking performances, and stunning sound design, I’d say Sound Of Metal deserves all those Academy Award nominations it just got, and hopefully wins.