CODA ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review by Andrea Carnevali
As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music by wanting to go to Berkeley and her fear of abandoning her parents. Available to watch on Apple +
Somewhere among the multitude of titles on the ever-growing list of streaming platforms you might just stumble across a tiny little film called Coda on Apple+. The title stands for ‘Child Of Deaf Adult’. If you do, stop whatever you’re doing, do yourself a favour and watch it. You won’t regret it.
This is not just one of the most charming, sweet and heart-warming films of the year, but it’s also a real crowd-pleaser which is bound to leave a smile or two (and a tear of two!) on your face by end. And all without resorting in cheesy sentimentality or heavy manipulation – for a start, there’s very little music.
The story centres around Ruby, the only hearing person in her deaf family (a mother a father and an older brother). Ironically, given her background, she has a passion for singing, something that she finds very hard to explain to her parents who actually take that passion as a deliberate sign of rebellion towards them.
“If I was blind, would you want to paint?” Her mother asks her at some point.
When her family’s fishing business goes bust, she finds herself torn between following her love for music and wanting to go and study it at university, and her moral commitment to help her parents.
This on paper it has all the usual tropes we’ve seen before in hundreds of other films and yet somehow it manages to bypass that feeling of déjà vu, thanks to some beautifully nuanced performances and a huge heart driving it all.
The family dynamics are perfectly observed and, like the everything else in the film, they feel honest and driven by real emotions.
The result is one of the most gentle and sweet gems of the year, which not surprisingly has just been nominated at the Golden Globes for Best Drama.
Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.
CODA is Highly Recommended on Apple+
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