Oscar Preview: Weekend of Nov. 20-22, 2020

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Sound of Metal

In Darius Marder’s film Sound of Metal, co-written with Abraham Marder based on a story idea by Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, stars Riz Ahmed as a rock band drummer who has suffered permanent hearing loss and must come to terms with being unable to lead the life he expected to as he battles his own insecurities and failings. Ahmed has been doing solid work in film and on television for the last decade and might just have his best opportunity yet to score an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

2014’s Nightcrawler was the first flirtation Ahmed had with the Academy and although that film got shafted, including Ahmed in Supporting Actor and Jake Gyllenhaal in lead, it was a film that tends to linger in the viewer’s mind, so when his next big opportunity comes up, this film, he could well be in contention. The trailer puts on display a striking use of sound, which could help the film compete for a Best Sound nomination.

Ultimately, this small film would likely have been ignored in any other year, but the pandemic of 2020 gave the picture a much stronger chance at the Oscars than many would have thought. He still has a lot of hurdles to jump before he makes it to the big show, but his chances are the best they’ve been in six years and might even be better than before.

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