Review: CODA (2021)


Release Date: August 13, 2021

Run Time: 1 hour & 51 minutes

Reviewed By: Edwina

Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the only hearing member of a deaf family from Gloucester, Massachusetts. At 17, she works mornings before school to help her parents (Marlee Matlin & Troy Kotsur) and brother (Daniel Durant) keep their fishing business afloat. But in joining her high school’s choir club, Ruby finds herself drawn to both her duet partner (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and her latent passion for singing.

And the winner is… CODA!!  We all know by now that CODA won best film for 2021, so this review is late, but it was important for me to put it into words. Our son had seen CODA months ago and kept telling us we needed to see it. He even placed a monetary bet on it to win. That’s how much he loved the film.

Finally, on a quiet Saturday, my husband and I took the time to watch. My first reaction was “wow,” what a beautiful story. At the center is a deaf family of which there is only one hearing person, the daughter (Ruby). The family is isolated due to the deafness and bullying from others, but fiercely protective of each other. They all run a family fishing business together. Ruby is still in high school and opts to join the school choir. She loves to sing and wants to be closer to her crush who is also in the choir. The choral director sees their potential and begins to work with both of them so they can be accepted at a prestigious music school. There are many obstacles along the way, but the most heartbreaking is the dependence the family has on Ruby and the fear that comes with her leading her own life.

The story of this family is beautiful. They truly speak their own language. Not only in ASL, but in the love they have for each other. The film was extremely emotional. I laughed, I cried, and I was moved by the beauty of Ruby’s (Emilia Jones‘) voice. The director did a wonderful job and made me feel, for a moment, that I was living in a deaf world. It truly moved me. Ruby signing “Both Sides Now,” as she competes for her spot in college, while her family watches from the balcony was perfect. I could watch that scene again and again. You also know by now, that Troy Kotsur won Best Supporting Actor and it was well deserved. He was fantastic, as were Marlee Maitlin and Daniel Durant. All three actors are deaf and it made a difference for setting the tone of reality in the film.

CODA deserved to win best film. If you have not seen it, please take a couple hours and treat yourself. You won’t be sorry! It was one of the best movies I have ever seen, hitting all the marks. Even watching it in my home, I gave it a standing ovation. This movie rates 10 out of 10, if I could rate it higher, I would.

W2B Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Extra Scenes: None

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