Music, Movies, TV – An Insider’s Perspective

What does “CODA” mean?

Are you excited about the Academy Awards? Are you going to an Academy Award viewing party or are you possibly hosting a party?

I usually attend my friend’s annual Academy Award party. Each guest brings a dish or drink that is inspired by one of the nominated films. A prize is given to the best and most creative dish…taste and presentation is EVERYTHING!

We also submit our ballots of who we feel will WIN each category. I am usually very good at picking the winners. Each year I try to see all the nominated films. Prior to the pandemic I went to four-to-five films every week. I love going to see films at a great theatre with huge screens and booming (but crystal clear) sound. It took me a while to warm up to loving films in the comfort of my home, but I am totally on board with it now.

I love being able to stop the film when needed, to replay the best scenes and to yell and scream when I feel like it.

I am very excited about this year’s nominees. There were so many beautiful films and dynamic performances. I am having a difficult time choosing the winners for this years Academy Awards party.

I have not seen every nominated film this year, but I do intend on seeing them all. Several of the films will be added to my list of favorites.

Whenever I see a masterful and passionate performance it usually leads to watching or re-visiting the previous work and films from that actor.

Here is one of the Academy Award nominated films that led to revisiting other films and performances…

CODA

CODA is an acronym that means “child of deaf adult”.

Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the CODA of the Rossi family. She is the only hearing member of the family.

Her father, mother and brother are all deaf. The family owns and operates a fishing business in Massachusetts. Ruby works on the family fishing boat while attending high school.

After noticing a boy she likes named Miles, joining the school’s choir, Ruby decides to join too. As a child she could not sing well so she was extremely nervous to audition in front of other students. When it was her turn to audition in front of the entire choir, she ran out of the room. When she eventually returned, the choir teacher had her sing alone and only to him. He discovered that Ruby had a beautiful singing voice, and she was a gifted singer.

The teacher paired Ruby with Miles for a duet to be performed at their upcoming school recital. Of course, Ruby was nervous again since she was paired with the boy she liked. The duet was not going well so the teacher suggested that they rehearse separately and then again together at a later time.

Miles and Ruby decided to get together at her house to practice singing their duet. While practicing Miles hears Ruby’s parents having very loud sex. Since her parents were deaf they did not know that Ruby and Miles were in the house. Miles told his best friend what happened, and he spread the story around the school. Ruby was very upset that the school now knew about her parents. Ruby and Miles decided to go their separate ways but eventually Miles apologized for telling his friend and they joined together again to work on their duet.

While Ruby was getting more involved with school, Miles and her rehearsals for the upcoming recital, her parent’s business was imploding due to a lot or restrictions and fees that were placed on the local fishermen. Ruby started to split her time between helping her family and working with the choir teacher to prepare for her recital and an audition for the school that she set her sights on.

As her passion grew for music and performing she developed a strong desire to attend the Berklee College of Music. But being the only hearing person in her family she was worried about leaving them, especially when the family was going through financial hardships. The family was just about to have their fishing license revoked but the city decided to give them another chance. The opportunity to keep their business license came with some strict rules. The Rossi’s must have a hearing and speaking person on board while operating their fishing boat. This was due to their ability to hear the fog horns and to keep them from danger. When Ruby heard the rules set forth by the licensing bureau she decided to stay and work with her family. She was willing to put her dreams aside for her family and their business.

When the time came for the school recital Ruby performed and her family went to watch her. Although they could not hear her they watched as the audience erupted in applause and gave her a standing ovation for her performance. When they returned home there is a very touching scene between Ruby and her father that brought me to tears. After seeing Ruby’s joy and passion for performing her family urged her to audition for the Berklee College of Music.

At this point I feel that you MUST see the ending of this film for yourself.

I will warn you that you may even shed a tear or two yourself. This is a beautiful, important film that the whole family can enjoy. The mother (Marlee Matlin), father (Troy Kotsur), and Brother (Daniel Durant) are all deaf actors. Hollywood is not always known for using authentic deaf actors when needed but for CODA they got it right. This little film that was purchased after a screening at the Sundance Film Festival is now a front-runner for the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 26, 2022.

It was 36 years ago when Marlee Matlin was seen in her first acting role. It was her first performance, first movie, first Academy Award nomination and the FIRST time a deaf performer WON the highly coveted award for Best Actress.
Marlee Matlin took home the Golden Globe and the Academy Award at age 21 which also made her the youngest actor to win “Best Actress”.

She won for her magnificent debut and leading performance in “Children of a Lesser God”.

Sometimes one good thing leads to another…and after seeing CODA I will be revisiting “Children of a Lesser God” soon.

I highly suggest and recommend seeing the film that made Marlee Matlin a member of the elite group of women that will forever have the words “ACADEMY AWARD WINNER” after their name.

You can find the award-winning film “Children of a Lesser God” and Marlee’s Academy Award winning debut performance from 1986 and all her films and TV performances at www.deepdiscount.com

I am hoping to see “CODA” walk away with WINS at this years Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 27.

My Predictions…
BEST PICTURE: CODA
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: CODA
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Troy Kotsur

After 36 years Troy Kotsur could be the next deaf and only deaf male actor to win an Academy Award.

I hope to see more from these great actors and more opportunities for the deaf community in front and behind the cameras.

CODA is not available on DVD but you can stream it on Apple TV.

Children of a Lesser God is available on DVD here.

1 Comment

  1. AJ Cherrington

    Well written article Violet !!

    CODA was an amazing movie, eye opening, heartwarming and a must see.

    I hope they walk about with a few awards as well.