Hearing loss has been getting a lot of screen time in the theaters lately. Hollywood is now portraying hearing loss in movies more and more, which is great—millions of people around the world have hearing loss and representation on the silver screen can do wonders to de-stigmatize hearing loss. Looking for a Friday night flick? Grab some popcorn and curl up with one of these movies below!
Hearing loss in the movies: The list
Baby Driver (2017): This critically acclaimed film from Edgar Wright stars Ansel Egort as a getaway car driver who has tinnitus. Egort’s character, Baby, uses music as a way to drown out his tinnitus and keep him focused on his job (transporting bank robbers). While Egort himself does not have hearing loss, the film also features CJ Jones, a deaf actor, as Baby’s mentor. The movie makes incredible use of music to immerse the audience in Baby’s exciting escapades. Watch on Netflix
A Star is Born (2018: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga star in the remake of the Judy Garland classic, updated for modern times. Gaga and Cooper’s musical collaboration is electric, and their emotional duet “Shallow” won the Oscar for Best Original Song. Cooper plays a stubborn rocker who, due to his resistance to wear hearing protection, has developed a bad case of tinnitus. Cooper, who directed the movie, even cast his own audiologist to play his on-screen ear doctor for accuracy. Where to watch
Wonderstruck (2017): This movie follows two deaf 12 year-olds who run away from home, but at very different times in history. Millicent Simmonds, a deaf actress, plays one of the two lead roles. The movie is based on a book of the same name and tracks the stories of Rose and Ben, who live in 1927 and 1977, respectively. This is a great film to watch with the whole family! Watch on Amazon Prime
A Quiet Place (2018): John Krasinski’s directorial debut revolutionized the way moviegoers think and feel about sound. The film is dead quiet, as the plot centers around a family living in a world of killer aliens who are blind but have an incredible sense of hearing. The young daughter (played by Millicent Simmonds) also has hearing loss and wears a hearing aid, which plays a big part in their fight against the monsters. Watch on Hulu
The Miracle Worker (1962): If you’re looking for a classic, look no further. Anne Bancroft stars as Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller’s tutor who taught the young girl how to communicate with the world. There have been several remakes, but the original is a must-see. Patty Duke plays Helen Keller, who is blind and deaf and suffers with isolation. The relationship between Annie and Helen is incredible, all the more so because it’s based on a true story! Rent on Amazon
Children of a Lesser God (1986): This film broke many barriers and is a pioneer in the world of hearing loss on the big screen. The romantic drama stars Marlee Matlin (who is deaf) and William Hurt and was the first movie to feature a deaf actor in a main role. Hurt plays an employee at a school for the deaf and hard of hearing, where Matlin is a student. The film follows their blossoming relationship and their efforts to communicate with each other. Matlin won the Best Actress Oscar for her performances, the first and only deaf actor to win an Academy Award. Watch on Amazon Prime