CODA – Review by Susan Granger

Set in coastal Gloucester, Massachusetts, Coda chronicles the reaction of a close-knit deaf family – played by three deaf actors (Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Durant) – to the desire of their hearing daughter (Emilia Jones) to go away to music school. Shy 17 year-old high school senior Ruby Rossi (Jones) has always loved to sing but when she attends choir audition – she panics. As the lone hearing person in her family of fishermen, she’s served as their interpreter in all social/business interactions.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 16, 2021: CODA

In telling the story of teenage Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones), the only hearing person in her deaf family, writer/director Sian Heder breathes fresh life into a familiar narrative about a young adult caught between following her dreams and a sense of duty to her home and loved ones. The result is CODA, a warm, funny family dramedy with excellent character development and strong performances. It’s easy to see why it was a hit at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

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CODA – Review by Loren King

By wrapping her coming of age story in a completely fresh milieu, writer/director Sian Heder delivers that rare thing: an engrossing and moving family centered film. Casting terrific deaf actors, headed by the great Marlee Matlin who deserves this plum role as family matriarch, gives CODA a potent authenticity as does shooting it in the hardscrabble fishing village of Gloucester, Mass. which provides the lived-in setting. Without giving anything away, I will only say: bring tissues.

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CODA – Review by Leslie Combemale

CODA is about Ruby Rossi, a 17 year old hearing girl who helps her deaf family with their fishing business in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The story would be pretty pedestrian but that it centers entirely on a deaf family, often speaking in ASL, performed by deaf actors, with dialogue shown in subtitles to those who don’t know the language. It is writer/director Sian Heder’s dialogue, and the delivery by the actors, that raises CODA high above standard coming of age fare. This is not a film that makes the story about deafness itself.

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CODA – Review by Pam Grady

CODA is a funny and moving coming-of-age tale and examination of family dynamics. As a child of deaf adults (aka CODA) who also has a deaf brother, Ruby has grown up navigating the hearing world for her parents as well as helping out at her dad’s fishing business. But in her last year of high school, a crush on classmate Miles leads her to join the school choir where she gains a lot more than a sweet new boyfriend: She finds herself as the gift of her voice reveals itself. And from there conflict arises. Developing her talent means leaving home after graduation against her family’s wishes.

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CODA – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

CODA is a coming-of-age story with a twist, given that its title stands for “child of deaf adults.” Set in Gloucester, Mass., this crowd-pleaser offers emotional and humorous bait as we meet 17-year-old Ruby, her non-hearing parents and hunky deaf brother . Alas, our heroine is not so keen on school work, partly because she is required to interpret for her loved ones and be an early-rising participant in the family fishing business.

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CODA – Review by Elizabeth Whittemore

Writer/director Sian Heder has given the world a gem in CODA. Easily landing in my Top 3 films of 2021, this story manages to be completely unique and wholly relatable all at once. CODA allows us to intimately enter the lives of a working-class family, that just happens to be deaf. It tackles ableism, pride, self worth, and everything in between. I’ll be rooting for this film for years to come. It’s a joyous and breathtaking watch.

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