Although I do watch an awful lot of movies, there is one that seemed to pass me by… until recently. Coda was originally shown on Apple TV Plus and I have finally got around to watching it. With Bafta nominations and a real buzz about the film, I wanted to see if it deserved the widespread commendation.
Sitting down to look at it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the main actress from ‘Locke and Key’ but didn’t recognise any of the other actors. With an open mind I lapped it up and all I can say is it was totally magical. Absolutely captivating!
In a nutshell (Coda film synopsis)
The main character is a teenage girl called Ruby (played by Emilia Jones) who lives with a fishing family in a US coastal town. Ruby is passionate about singing and the actress has an incredible voice. It is something that seems to run in the actress’s family as her dad, Aled Jones, is known as the voice of the Snowman movie and the beautiful, ‘We’re walking in the air.’
Ruby has grown up as a translator for her parents and brother who are all profoundly deaf. Although she loves her family dearly, they are not keen on her interest in music. Her mother suggests that she chose that hobby to spite them, as she knew they couldn’t understand or enjoy it. The interesting fact here is that Emilia had to spend six months learning American Sign Language before she was able to take on this brilliant role.
The conflict between keeping her family fishing business together and driving forward with her dream of studying music is immense. CODA means Child Of A Deaf Adult but it also means ‘a passage of music’. So even the title is very clever by having a double meaning.
It was interesting to see the fishing storyline as the family were earning less and less for their catches due to quotas and taxes. They also had to pay 800 dollars to have an auditor onboard, who wasn’t able to communicate with them, causing all sorts of difficulties. We hear a lot about the fishing industry and its struggle so this topic seems very relevant.
Ruby shone a torch for another guy who happened to be in the school choir. The eccentric music teacher had her back and encouraged her to train to get into Berklee Music College in Boston. Torn between love, music and family reliance, Ruby had a lot of juggling to do.
I have to say that I was totally enamoured with this film. It highlights the important issue of lack of access for deaf people to elements of daily life. It also showcased Emilia’s incredible singing voice, which I hadn’t witnessed before. The Coda film storyline is neat, well written and emotional. I laughed and cried in equal measures. It takes a lot to make me feel so involved in a movie’s plot.
Hopefully you enjoyed my Coda film review and will consider checking out the CODA movie some time soon. Here is my recent review of the Belfast film. Please consider joining my email list for future articles about books, movies and the environment.