Also fittingly, the award was presented by the film's star, Riz Ahmed.

By Christian Holub
April 25, 2021 at 09:24 PM EDT

It may not be a surprise, but it's still a deserved win. Sound of Metal won Best Sound at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, beating out competition from Greyhound, Mank, News of the World, and Soul in order to do so. This year, the ceremony combined what was previously two awards (Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing) into one overall award.

The award was presented by the star of Sound of Metal himself, Riz Ahmed, who played punk-metal drummer Ruben Stone struggling with the loss of his hearing. The award was accepted by Nicolas Becker live from Paris, speaking on behalf of the film's five-person sound design team. If you want to hear from another member of the team, Michelle Couttolenc, watch EW's panel discussion with Oscar-nominated craft trailblazers above.

"Sound of Metal received from its team so much time, love, and attention," Becker said in his live feed. "We believe it's one of the reasons the film has been received so beautifully."

93rd Annual Academy Awards
Credit: ABC

Becker and director Darius Marder made great efforts to portray Ruben's experience authentically. They consulted with people who had been born with hearing but lost it over time, similar to Ruben's experience, and spoke to audiologists to understand what kind of sounds Ruben would hear after getting a cochlear implant. Becker built a small microphone to fit in Ahmed's mouth and capture the sound of his breathing. 

Sound of Metal has no real score; instead of music, it has these reverberations and distortions. 

"The idea was to make it really, really naturalistic," Becker told the Washington Post. "When the audience is listening and looking at the film, it's not illustrative. It's created a direct connection with their memories, you know?"

Best Sound wasn't Sound of Metal's only win Sunday night. Editor Mikkel E. G. Nielsen also picked up the Best Film Editing award for his work on the film.

Sound of Metal is streaming on Amazon Prime.

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