We have another movie in the running for favorite of the year, and it’s a polar opposite of its competition (Nobody). This warrants a full post.
While obsessively checking Alamo’s schedule, I noticed there were repeated listing for a film called CODA. That’s the first thing that got my attention. After a week or so, my Twitter started lighting up with people talking about how much they adored this movie. That really made me take notice, so I did some quick IMDB research.
CODA stands for “Child of Deaf Adults” but also has a double meaning referring to music. The story follows a girl who is the only hearing member of her otherwise deaf family. She’s torn between staying home to help the family’s struggling business or leaving for college to study singing. Now I’m really interested. Final selling point is one of the family members is played by Daniel Durant, who I saw as Moritz in Deaf West Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening on Broadway. That is one of the best things I’ve ever seen on stage, and as my favorite character in that show, Durant was phenomenal. Sold!
I didn’t end up going to Alamo tho. Timing and budget worked out better for my first return trip to The Landmark, which was a nice theater to revisit. Had to haul it to get there from my screening of The Night House across town at the dine in (including a snack stop at CVS) but I made it in good time. Sat in the wrong auditorium for a while tho, bc Fandango didn’t update the listing. Ticket taker told me the right place to go, but I stubbornly didn’t listen to him until it was clear that I wasn’t where I was supposta be.
I absolutely adored every second of the movie. It was so heartwarming and feel good, I was close to happy tears throughout most of the last act. But it also had me thinking, because I could see both sides of our leading lady’s struggle, and I felt for her so much. Granted, I was also looking at this thru the lens of a mostly well adjusted adult, so therapy taught me exactly how she needed to respond to her situation to best serve herself, but I still enjoyed watching it play out. Emilia Jones absolutely owned this movie, and I was thoroughly impressed with her performance.
Oh bonus shout out for scene stealer Eugenio Derbez as her music teacher. Perfectly sized role for him, allowing him to be silly and just over the top enough without being grating. I absolutely love him when he finds that balance.
As if this movie wasn’t already enough to make my heart ridiculously happy, it also gave me a chance to brush up some of my ASL skillz. It was actually that production of Spring Awakening that finally got me to take a course a few years back. Unfortunately, they only offered level 1, so I’ve only got some very basic knowledge and vocab. I’ve spent most of the past week refreshing myself on some basic signs for a few simple sentences. Knowing my track record, I prolly won’t get much past that this time, but maybe one day I’ll pick it back up for reals.
Anyways, this movie is streaming on Apple I think, so it’s absolutely worth checking out. Or if you’re lucky enough to find a screening nearby (open captions!!), highly highly recommend it.
CODA – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/