The fantastic, funny and heartfelt dramedy “CODA” doesn’t astound by breaking the mold of teen romances and coming-of-age tales. Instead, its brilliance lies in combining these well-tread tropes with an important sense of inclusion for a sweet story that truly sings.
Written and directed by Siân Heder – and based on a 2014 French film – “CODA” (★★★½ out of four; rated PG-13; in theaters and on Apple TV+) features a breakthrough role for talented newcomer Emilia Jones and a thoughtful narrative that takes audiences into the personal lives of a deaf family with a single hearing member. By the end, you’ll have Joni Mitchell stuck in your head, a renewed respect for Oscar-winning great Marlee Matlin, perhaps a want to learn American Sign Language and probably a couple tear-drenched hankies.
So if “Ted Lasso” hasn’t already inspired you to sign up for Apple TV+, this should do the trick.
Ruby (Jones) is a 17-year-old Massachusetts girl – the Child of Deaf Adults, or CODA in the title – who works on the family fishing boat with her worrying mom Jackie (Matlin), salty dad Frank (Troy Kotsur) and headstrong brother Leo (Daniel Durant).