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CODA
Academy Award® Winner
Seventeen-year-old Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the sole hearing member of a deaf family--a CODA, child of deaf adults. Her life revolves around acting as interpreter for her parents (Marlee Matlin, Troy...  View more >

Starring Emilia Jones, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Marlee Matlin...  View more >

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Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Mar 26, 2022
CODA has received a lot of buzz recently because of the awards that it has already received, as well as its prediction as a front-runner for some Oscar statues in the upcoming Academy Awards presentation.

In addition to its three Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Supporting Actor, and Adapted Screenplay, its list of nominations and awards is plenty long. Sometimes this happens to movies that are critically liked, but they don't appeal to a more general audience. That is not the case with CODA.

The best movies have strong storylines, which are then performed by capable actors, and CODA uses very familiar themes of the relationship of a family and a teenager in that family trying to find her own identity in the world that she is facing. The fact that the teenager is the only hearing person in a deaf family adds a layer of depth to the story that raises the stakes and puts an interesting turn on what could otherwise be a retread of a story.

It certainly doesn't hurt that the performances in CODA are all top-notch. Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin shows how to be the most famous actor in a movie without dominating every scene she's in and wresting the viewer's attention away from where the focus should be. Her role as the family's mother, together with the father (played excellently by Troy Kotsur) and brother, provide the family unit for the center of the story, teenager Rubi, who cannot only hear, but has an amazing voice.

Emilia Jones plays Rubi with a sincerity that you don't find often in lesser movies that might attempt to tell this story. She has a TV and movie filmography that isn't short, but I've never seen her in anything before. Her voice is incredible, to the point where this would usually be where one would note that a music star has been enlisted to play a part in a movie that is merely a vehicle for her singing.

The family dynamic is wonderful, and not often shown in movies or TV shows. Usually, you get dysfunctional families, and here, the family works very well within its own self. The difficulties come when those in the outside world can't get beyond themselves to interact with someone who has a hearing disability. The moment between Rubi and her dad after she performs in her school concert is touching and poignant. We see a father trying to understand better what his daughter is becoming, while knowing that his relationship with her is changing because she's growing up. I'm not sure how any father of a daughter would not be moved by that scene.

I'm probably overselling this movie, but I highly recommend watching it. It's available in more than a hundred movie theaters and on Apple TV+. My guess is that it will get at least one of those three possible Oscars, and that should expand its availability in theaters, at least for a little while.

I would not be unhappy at all to see CODA win Best Picture!

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