Ruby Rossi is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and the only person of hearing in her deaf family, when the family business is threatened she finds herself torn between them and chasing her dream of studying music at college.
Jackie and Frank Rossi are both deaf and have a deaf son Leo but Ruby was the exception in the family and she can hear, this leads to her family being very dependant on her to help with doctors appointments, the running of the business and quite frankly anything else to be able to translate through sign language. As she is in her final year in High School she is very much torn between helping her father with his business and chasing her dream of singing.
She joined the school choir and was being tutored by Bernardo Villalobos who was the music teacher, he doesn’t really know too much about her home life and puts pressure on her when she is late or cannot attend, instead of reaching out for help though she tries to balance everything. Often working on the fishing boats before school, getting out at 3am each morning. She is ridiculed at school and this has created a rather shielded persona, getting to know Miles through the choir would really help change her perspective and eventually think about herself and her own future.
I feel CODA is fantastic and essential viewing to raise awareness of how things are so different for not only deaf people, but for the family set up. Having Ruby as the only person of hearing in her family placed more pressure on her than even the average teenager faces in day to day life. It was never something I would have really given much thought to before watching the film.
It’s actually really nice to see how everything unfolds and the scene where the family are at the choir recital was very moving, when it flipped to being completely silent and really showing how they are witnessing it all. They then realise that Ruby is fantastic due to the reactions of the people who are also in the audience and I really did find that scene so touching.
The performances were inspiring with Emilia Jones taking on the leading role and coming across so effortless with it. Having the family all played by deaf actors was surely essential and certainly made it even more powerful with Marlee Martin, Troy Kotsur and Daniel Durant all putting in really impressive performances alongside Jones, they really did feel like a family unit which was such a bonus.
Surely so far this has to to easily be the best film that Apple TV+ have as an original film?