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I’ve seen ‘CODA’

I saw this Oscar-winning 2021 film though streaming it at home, which probably isn’t the best way to see a cinematic production. It’s a remake of the 2014 French film La Famille Bélier, which I haven’t seen. I mention these facts only to illustrate that you most likely shouldn’t trust my judgement of this film.

CODA—an acronym for ‘child of deaf adults’—features a family of four, of whom only the youngest, a daughter, has hearing. She is a talented singer, and wants to pursue a career that her family struggles to understand, but is held back by her family’s reliance on her sign-language translations.

The film features a stellar cast, many of whom are deaf, including the incomparable Marlee Matlin. She plays against type as an under-confident and under-empathetic mother to the main character, played by Emilia Jones, who has a genuinely remarkable singing voice.

The problem with the film was the book, which was weak throughout. This is one of those films where the main obstacles in the protagonist’s path are overcome in a silent montage set to music in the last few minutes of the film. The actors greatly out-performed the script, with the exception perhaps of Eugenio Derbez whose character was wholly unbelievable and partly unbearable. His character was a composite of several in the French original, which might explain the unevenness in characterisation which even Derbez’s considerable talent couldn’t smooth over.

There is much to enjoy in this film—the acting and the music, in particular—but it’s not one I intend ever to re-watch.

This post was filed under: Film, Post-a-day 2023, , , .

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