Earlier this year, Amazon released their new film Sound of Metal, in which a metal drummer copes with the loss of his hearing. The movie received critical acclaim from most publications (even though its use of metal as a plot device left something to be desired). Now, it appears that the film’s two male leads, Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci, have both been nominated for Oscars for their involvement in the film.
Ahmed has been nominated for Best Actor In A Leading Role for his portrayal of Ruben, a metal drummer and former drug addict who is slowly losing his hearing. Raci was nominated for Best Actor In A Supporting Role for his portrayal of Joe, the head of the hearing loss program that Ruben attends during the film. Ahmed is the first Muslim actor to be nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, a fact about which Raci is especially excited.
“Hollywood needs to do more, they know that,” Raci said to Deadline.”I think that Sound of Metal is going to open up that conversation. It’s gonna give some more room to that and more attention, he said.
“I think the Academy has done a great thing here in recognizing such small-budgeted movies alongside these monsters, that’s an improvement there,” he adds. “I think it is changing, it is metamorphosing into something better, just as we are metamorphosing into something better right now with our recent election.”
The 93rd Academy Awards go down Sunday, April 25th, at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
It’s worth noting that while audiences everywhere loved Sound of Metal‘s depiction of hearing loss, its use of metal music as a backdrop was not universally adored.
“Worst of all, Sound of Metal commits a sin of which Lords of Chaos and Rock Star are equally guilty: there’s no metal music in it,” wrote The Pit’s own Chris Krovatin. All three of these films are hung with the fashion and attitude of heavy metal, but it apparently never occurred to the directors that the music is the most important part of metal culture (hell, Sound of Metal has ‘metal’ in the fucking title, and we never hear a full metal song). Had they taken metal seriously, the makers of these films would’ve found awesome examples of heavy music with which to soundtrack their movies, which would in turn show why these stories are important in the first place. Instead, they use metal as a costume; the art itself isn’t worth giving screen time. People might get scared off by the big loud noises.”