The film that promises to destroy us between tears and laughter is here
“CODA” tells the dramatic story of a deaf family. Critics are already pointing out the film as an Oscar nominee.
Emilia Jones is the star of the film
“It will be difficult to cry once, twice or three times in the final scenes. It’s a drama that hits the right buttons ”, was written about“ CODA ”in January after its limited premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. “It’s one of those honest films that speaks to everyone – one that seduces you instead of grabbing you by the collar. And he deserves all the tears of joy that he takes from us. “
The description of critics who were lucky enough to see the film was almost unanimous: there was drool, snot, sometimes both at the same time; and many uncontrolled sobs bathed in tears.
It was, of course, one of the most sought-after films in the usual auction that follows the festival, bringing together the studios and the sharks of the streaming platforms. Everyone wanted to grab what they thought could be a success, but not only: a potential candidate for the Oscars.
After many offers, two strong candidates remained: Amazon and Apple. The latter managed to secure broadcasting rights for the whole world – a purchase that broke the festival’s record at over 21 million euros.
Not only did the film exit Sundance with this record, it also won the Audience Award, the Jury Award, as well as the Best Director Award for Sian Heder and the Special Drama Award for the best cast.
“The reaction to the film moved me and I’m happy to have found a partner at Apple,” explains the director and screenwriter. “I hope this film will help break some prejudice and open some doors on the path to inclusion and portrayal of more stories that focus on characters from the Deaf community. These stories have waited too long to be told. That time is now. No more excuses.”
“CODA” stands for Children of Deaf Adults, the children of deaf adults who are part of the community and who grew up with sign language as their first language. Not only is it a representative film of the community, but also a story of entering adulthood.
The family is played by deaf actors
The focus of the story is Ruby Rossi (played by Emilia Jones), the daughter of deaf parents. Her brother is also deaf, which makes her the only family member who can hear. Hence, she serves as a translator and essential support to her parents, fishermen who depend on their daughter for many of the essential daily activities.
Rossi has a talent: an incredible voice that catches the attention of the school’s choir teacher trying to convince her to use the gift and pursue a career. The problem is that this would force a separation from the parents.
At this intersection begins the drama of a young woman trying to define her future and that of a family that cannot admire her talent.
Heder’s decision to choose the cast was to respect community representation and involvement. Deaf actors are effectively deaf. Such is the case of mother Jackie Rossi (Marlee Matlin, the only deaf person to have an Oscar for best actress on her resume for her role in “Sons of a Lesser God” in 1987), father Frank Rossi (Troy Kotsur) and Brother Leo Rossi (Daniel Durant).
Critics agree, and so does Jones. “CODA” is a film that “makes you laugh and cry”. “Laughing and crying are an irresistible couple. In addition, this film is a gigantic love letter to the family. “
Although all “CODA” indicate global success, this is not an original story. It is a remake of a 2015 French film, “The Bélier Family”.
With a few minor differences in script, it also follows the life of a 16 year old girl, Paula Bélier, who works as an interpreter for her parents and helps them with sales in the market where they work. She too has a talented voice, discovered by a teacher trying to convince her to move to Paris.
But where “CODA” hit the nail on the head, “A Família Bélier” failed and was much criticized for not choosing deaf actors for the lead roles.
Original or not, the truth is “CODA” comes with a full résumé and plenty of reasons to stream in order to attract crowds to the couch and not to the movies. And the tears are more than promised.
“CODA” debuts on Apple TV this Friday, August 13th.