Apple TV Movie Review: Coda

The new movie streaming on Apple TV “Coda” is about a teenage girl in high school, who is the only hearing member of her family with extraordinary singing ability. Ruby Rossie, played perfectly by actress Emilia Jones is the most valuable member of her family due to her hearing ability. Her father owns a fishing business and Ruby’s ability to hear makes her importance to the family business paramount, creating a great deal of responsibility and pressure for a girl so young. She has a brother a few years older who is also deaf and has problems with Ruby being so important all the time..

From the start of this outstanding movie, it was immediately obvious that this was something special. A rare film that you will remember long after you see it. Coda is the reason why avid moviegoers to to the movies – to hopefully stumble on a great film. Coda is one of this films.

Marlee Matlin stars as Ruby’s mother, and since winning the Academy Award in 1986 for “Children of a Lesser God”, Matlin has continued to be one of the very few deaf actors to appear in mainstream movies. Troy Kotsur plays Ruby’s father Frank and the owner of a fishing business that is getting ripped off by the bigger players who underpay for the fish they catch, and add a Government backed machine to track the movement of each fishing business. This side story is a very important part of the story because of the responsibility it adds to Ruby’s life as a teenage girl about to go to college.

Most impressive is actress Emilia Jones who plays Ruby. She can not only sing, but is a natural actor – so good in this movie that in my opinion, she is a shoe-in to receive an Academy Award nomination for best actress. I was also impressed with the music in this film, as Ruby’s music teacher tries to teach her how to be a great singer, leading to a shot at a scholarship at a local music school. Ruby’s conflict over leaving her very dependent family and pursuing music school provides the best parts of this excellent film.

The Rotten Tomatoes reviews for Coda are an extremely high 96% – and I agree with this high rating and give Code my highest recommendation.