CODA, the Peanut Butter Falcon of 2021

My top ten is changing after seeing CODA last night. Goodbye West Side Story and hello CODA. Sian Heder’s written and directed movie (taken from the original French idea and version by Victoria Bedos’ The Belier Family) about the hearing daughter of a deaf family had me in tears several times. I haven’t been this moved since Driveways last year and PB Falcon the year before.
Despite a clunky beginning, (she front loads how crass the family is and it’ll take you back, even if you come from hillbilly roots) Heder’s screenplay and characterization is very real. People aren’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t multi-faceted and worthy of love.
The acting was topnotch: EVERYONE was terrific! Troy Kotsur has garnered the most award nominees plays the father. Emilia Jones is wonderful as the lead character (winning the Gotham Award for Best Breakthrough Actress) and her voice is angelic! Marlee Matlin plays a perfect tight rope performance of an imperfect mother. Daniel Durant was tremendous as the brother. The screenwriters proved marvelous in capturing the nuances of family dynamics. Eugenio Derbrez was amazingly convincing as the moody Choir Instructor. In the “please change your name department” Ferdia Walsh-Peelo…really? was believable as the shy singer/love interest of Emilia. And last, but not least, Amy Forsyth who was also excellent as the chief rival in The Novice this year, shines brightly in her minor role as the easy gal pal of Emilia Jones.
SEE THIS MOVIE, but be prepared to let the tears flow. It’s worth it!

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at

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