An itinerant heavy metal drummer’s life is thrown into a tailspin when he discovers that he’s losing his hearing.

While Ruben’s (Riz Ahmed in a career best) first instinct is to “fix it,” to undergo a hugely expensive and uninsured cochlear transplant operation, his girlfriend and bandmate (Olivia Cooke) finds for him a secluded treatment facility, where he is warmly welcomed by his deaf roomies.

But as he takes his first tentative steps toward accepting and adapting to his new and noiseless world, his old life continues to beckon.

Darius Marder’s (The Place Beyond the Pines, Loot) riveting, resonant use of sound pulls you in to Ruben’s world. Unsurprisingly, this mesmerizing little gem of a film took home the best sound Oscar and another for editing, and was nominated for four more.

Nothing is predictable as the story goes ever deeper, without a trace of artifice, right down to the final frame. The ending is perfect. (120 min)

 

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