Valley brothers’ film gets Oscar nomination for best original song

  • Darius Marder, left, and Abraham Marder stand outside Greenfield Garden Cinemas in December, when their film “Sound of Metal” made its Valley debut. STAFF FILE PHOTO/ANDY CASTILLO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/1/2021 8:49:34 AM

“Sound of Metal,” an acclaimed independent film co-written by two Pioneer Valley brothers, Darius and Abraham Marder, has been nominated or won a number of awards, from best actor to best original screenplay.

Now the film has snagged another notable honor: a nomination for best original song.

“Green,” a title written and performed by Abraham Marder, of Amherst, has been short-listed for an Oscar with 14 other titles for best song from new movies; 105 songs were eligible in that category, according to the Academy Awards website.

“It’s profound to feel people connecting to the film. Especially amidst such difficult times,” Darius Marder said about the nomination. “Also seeing my cast and crew, who stepped up and believed in ‘Sound Of Metal’ (and) put it all on the line — against all odds — now getting recognition, is immensely satisfying for me. I feel like a proud papa.”

Abe Marder, in a recent tweet, wrote “I couldn’t be more proud of this release and the people and project to which it’s tied. So much heart, grace and artistry in you all.”

His brother, who lives in Ashfield, also tweeted “So proud that my dear brother @Abemarder’s song ‘Green’ was recently shortlisted for the Oscars.”

The Oscar nomination comes on top of widespread praise that their film, directed by Darius Marder, has received from critics and viewers alike.

As just one example, on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, “Sound of Metal” has a 96 percent approval rating based on over 220 reviews.

Critics, meantime, have singled out in particular the performance of lead actor Riz Ahmed and the thoughtful, unsentimental story by the Marder brothers about the sudden loss of hearing a punk-metal drummer, Ruben (played by Ahmed), experiences, and how he copes with the new world of silence he finds himself in.

As Rogerebert.com puts it, “The fragility of daily existence is captured empathetically and compassionately in Darius Marder’s excellent ‘Sound of Metal,’ a film that should catapult Riz Ahmed to the top of any producer’s casting list.”

The director and actor, the review adds, “have collaborated here on an incredibly refined character piece. It’s a movie that doesn’t just allow for silence but thrives in it, with Ahmed’s eyes and body language charting the arc of his character. He doesn’t miss a beat.”

Meantime, Abraham Marder’s song, “Green,” seems a good match for the film’s theme, with a spare melody, some muted keyboards and synthesizer, and lyrics that speak to Ruben’s dilemma: “Gone into the rain today / wet fields of green … you call my name / you wave and scream / but I can’t hear anything.”

“Green,” which closes the film, is now out as a single on Nonesuch Records. Abraham Marder recently said on the label’s website that it was a challenge to come up with the song, considering the film’s overall dynamic.

“Making a credit song for Sound Of Metal was terrifying,” he said. “I actually told Darius on multiple occasions I didn’t think it was a good idea. I didn’t want to be the thing that violated the sacred silence our film spent two hours building towards.”

In addition to the nomination of “Green” as best film song, “Sound of Metal” has won recognition from over a dozen film boards and associations, including the Critics’ Choice Awards, which has nominated the film for best picture, actor, supporting actor, original screenplay and editing.

Ahmed has also been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best actor in a motion picture.

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at spfarrer@gazettenet.com. Andy Castillo contributed to this report.


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