#CODAFilm – Movie Review

CODA – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 51 minutes

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Ruby and Gretia stand in line to sign up for electives.  When Ruby hears her crush, Miles, signing up for choir, she does too.  On the first day of practice, Mr. Bernardo has each of the kids sing to sort them into their respective ranges.  When Ruby has her turn, she runs out of class.  When she goes home, she sees her parents, Jackie and Frank, arguing about money.  Jackie tries to convince Frank to find other work, but fishing is all he knows how to do.  The next day, Ruby summons the courage to sing for Mr. Bernardo.  He believes she has a unique talent that requires nurturing.  And with guidance, she could use her voice to get into Berklee College of Music.  Ruby never dreamed of college because she has lackluster grades and little money.  Mr. Bernardo thinks she can sing her way to a scholarship, but Ruby has to put in the work.  To build her confidence, Mr. Bernardo gives Ruby a duet with Miles singing ‘You’re All I Need‘ for the school’s fall concert (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  When Ruby comes home to tell Jackie, Ruby gets an unexpected response.

Jackie believes Ruby joined the choir as a sign of teenage rebellion against Jackie, Frank, and Ruby’s brother, Leo.  Ruby is a CODA, Child of Deaf Adults, and is the only hearing-abled person in her family.  When she works on the fishing boat with Leo and Frank, she fishes and interprets radio calls.  She has translated for them since she was a young child, and they enormously depend on her to help them communicate with other fisherpeople, the townspeople, fish auctioneers, and doctors.  When Ruby and Leo feel like the auctioneers cheat them, Leo tries to persuade Frank to start a co-op, but he won’t do it. But as the government steps in, it’s too much for Frank to take and afford.  He decides to start the co-op with his family.  As the family needs her more than ever, can Ruby fulfill her singing dreams without destroying the family’s new business?

This coming-of-age film is unlike any other because Ruby dealt with adult issues long before she was a teenager.  Leo, the eldest sibling, feels like their parents treat him like a baby because he can’t hear.  Jackie and Frank need her because they can’t afford an interpreter.  Ruby is a teenager that wants to shake off the adult responsibilities she deals with every day.  Whether she is a referee, comedian, businesswoman, or a fisherman, Ruby wants to have her dream, too.  Watching Ruby and her family grow will bring a tear to your eye and make you want to learn how to sign.  This charming and funny family is not disabled.  They are living in a world that refuses to learn, and Ruby takes on the burden.  It will move you as Ruby shows her pride for her family while singing ‘Both Sides, Now(FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  A poignant song for the turning point in this film and Ruby’s family.  

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

I thought we said no Tinder at the table – Ruby

If you start beatboxing or doing that cup clapping thing, we’re done. Ok – Gertie

She was never a baby – Frank

Take those off. It’s rude – Jackie

She just told me she has herpes – Leo

Well, it’s not sand and glue – Mr. Bernardo


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