Paulie’s Perspective: Coda (2021) Review

Dir: Sian Heder

Starring: Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin; Troy Kotsur

Writers: Sian Heder  

Adapted from the French Film “La Famille Belier” (2014)

CODA is up for 4 Oscars, Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Sian Heder) and Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur)

CODA was made for $10 million and bought by Apple for $ 25 million at Sundance.

Marlee Matlin is the only deaf actor to win an Oscar for Children of a Lesser God (1986). This I think is about to change come Oscar season because Troy Kotsur gives an incredible performance as the father of a teen who can hear and the rest of the family can’t. 

This movie is taken from a French hit film from 2014 called La Famille Belier. It was very popular in France when it came out, and Sian has taken that film, almost scene by scene and made it American. She added a lot more drama to it, a lot more depth to it, and made the family a generation of fishermen in Gloucester, MA. 

The French film is quite tongue and cheek and light and humorous compared to CODA. Sian really went for the jugular here and made something special. 

The parents can’t hear, and neither can her older brother – but Ruby can. Ruby can do something else too – she can sing. Now her family has no concept of music, so it’s a little hard for them to grasp that she loves this one thing they have no idea about. 

It’s a tight family, it’s a loving family and they make it through times by having each other. It has always been them against the fishing community, and Ruby has always been the bridge that makes it all work. Using sign language, she has always been the interpreter that made them exist. When music begins to take Ruby away – this strong family has to now adapt or pack it in, sell the boat and move on. 

It is a testimonial to family and how strong they can be, and also how gut wrenching it can be to let go of the ones you treasure most. 

A great film to share with your kids, especially rebellious teens. It has the strongest heart since The Fault In Our Stars. They are a brave and loving bunch, but this film reminds you that moving on is not disappointing your loved ones, but actually making them proud. 

A great story, an extremely noble platform to showcase the deaf community on, to showcase a loving family unit on, and to showcase growing up on. 

This a good film with a good cause and I hope the Academy remembers that come Awards night.