Sian Heder will direct and write the screenplay for CODA, a coming-of-age comedy drama to be released in 2021. Emilia Jones plays the title character, a CODA (child of deaf adults), who is the sole member of her family who is deaf. In supporting parts, we have Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin.
It was shot in Gloucester, Massachusetts in the United States, a co-production between the United States, France, and Canada. La Famille Bélier, a 2014 French film directed by Éric Lartigau, is being remade in English.
The 2021 Sundance Film Festival premiered CODA on January 28, 2021. For a festival record of $25 million, Apple purchased the distribution rights to CODA. On August 13, 2021, the film was released in theatres and on Apple TV+. The American Film Institute rated it one of the best 10 films of the year in 2021. At the 79th Golden Globe Awards, it was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Supporting Actor (for Kotsur). When it was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 28th SAG Awards, Kotsur, Matlin, and Durant made history as the first three deaf/non-hearing cast members to be nominated alongside Jones, Derbez, and Walsh-Pelo.
Ruby Rossi is the sole hearing member of her family in Gloucester, Massachusetts; her parents Frank and Jackie, as well as her older brother Leo, are all Deaf. After high school, she wants to work full-time for the family fishing business.
Ruby is an outcast at school because of her family’s social standing. When Ruby sees that her fling, Miles, has also decided to join the choir, she jumps at the opportunity. Student conductor Bernardo “Mr V” Villalobos makes the choir sing “Happy Birthday to You” as a class assignment. Ruby tries to flee as she is forced to sing in front of the class. In the future, she tells Mr V that she was bullied as a child for speaking in a different way. Ruby is welcomed back into the choir by Mr V, who reassures her that the chorus is open to various sorts of singing. Later, when he hears Ruby sing, he is taken aback by how lovely her voice is.
Ruby and Miles will perform a duet at the forthcoming choir presentation, according to Mr V’s plan. Mr V insists that they practice on their own for their first rehearsal, which goes horribly wrong. When Frank and Jackie are having sex in the next room over, Ruby invites Miles to come to practice at her house. Students in the cafeteria are laughing behind Ruby’s back, and Miles tells her he just told his friend Jay, who in turn spread the news across the school, but Ruby refuses to remain friends with him. She finally forgave him and they resumed their practice while developing a romantic relationship.
Meanwhile, Frank and Leo are struggling to make ends meet as the local board imposes increased fines and sanctions. To get around the new limits, Frank stands up at the board meeting and declares that he is creating his own company, encouraging other area fishers to join in. Ruby is the only one the family has to rely on to get the word out about the business.
To help Ruby prepare for her audition at Berklee College of Music, Mr. V provides her one-on-one lessons. Ruby accompanies him for the lessons, but her family’s business takes precedence over her involvement. When she’s often running late and making excuses, Mr. V becomes frustrated and cancels their lessons. Aside from the fact that she’s wasting his time, he claims that she doesn’t care about music at all.
After failing to respond to ship horns and radio calls while fishing, the Coast Guard detains Frank and Leo. Fishing permits are canceled and punished, but they appeal and obtain their licenses returned on the condition that they have a hearing person on board at all times. Forgoing college, Ruby tells her family that she will be working full-time for the company. But Leo is irate and insists that they can handle their own problems without Ruby’s assistance. Her parents are sympathetic.
Attending Ruby’s choir recital, her family is able to observe the enthusiastic response from the audience. To help him cope with his grief, Frank begs Ruby, who is visibly moved by his touching her vocal cords, to sing for him that night. A trip to Boston to see Ruby at Berklee College of Music is planned, and the entire family sneaks into the audition hall to sneak a peek. Initially, Ruby is apprehensive, but when she sees her family, she relaxes and begins to sing along with the song.
Eventually, Ruby is admitted to Berklee and she tells her family and Mr. V about the good news before inviting Miles to come to see her in Boston sometime. They are all thrilled to hear the news! During this time, the hearing employees of the family’s fishing business have been studying sign language so that they may communicate with and interpret for the family members in sign language. Her family said goodbye as Ruby and Gertie drove out to Boston, where they would attend college. Ruby signed “I really love you” to Gertie as they drove away.
- Emilia Jones as Ruby Rossi
- Troy Kotsur as Frank Rossi
- Daniel Durant as Leo Rossi
- Marlee Matlin as Jackie Rossi
- Eugenio Derbez as Bernardo “Mr. V” Villalobos
- Ferdia Walsh-Peelo as Miles
- Amy Forsyth as Gertie
- Kevin Chapman as Brady
CODA Release Updates
Screening At Sundance
CODA premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on January 28, 2021, as one of the opening-day features.
It was a part of the US Dramatic Competition at the festival. Virtual screening of CODA was done because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States at the time.
Agence France Presse said that the film had garnered “instant glowing reviews,” citing good remarks from Variety and Deadline Hollywood.
Film distributors and big-budget streaming services are expected to go into a bidding battle over Heder’s “crowd-pleasing tearjerker,” according to IndieWire. As a result of its powerful acceptance of the deaf community, it’s a refreshing remake of the typical teen romance and coming-of-age story,” USA Today wrote.
Apple purchased the film’s distribution rights for a record-breaking $25 million two days after its premiere at CODA.
CODA was awarded the U.S. Grand Jury Prize, the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award, and a Special Jury Ensemble Cast Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker Sian Heder was named Best Director in the U.S. Dramatic category for her work on this project.
Apple TV+ And Movie Theatres, Oh My!
On the 13th of August 2021, the movie was released in theatres and on Apple TV+ for streaming purposes.