Crowd-pleasing ‘CODA’ one of the year’s best films

“CODA” is a good old-fashioned crowd pleaser, a rousing coming of age story about a child of deaf adults — that’s where the title comes from — and her journey to find her own voice. 

A trio of fine performances anchor this heartening, joyous story, the breakout success of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it was purchased by Apple TV+ for a record-setting $25 million. With any luck, its accolades will continue to roll in through awards season, where it deserves to be a major contender. 

Emilia Jones gives a breakout performance as Ruby Rossi, the hearing daughter of deaf parents whose older brother, Leo (Daniel Durant) is also deaf. They’re a family of fishermen and Ruby works with her brother and her father, Frank (standout Troy Kotsur), on their weathered boat off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Back on shore, their catch is given short shrift by the local market, and it’s often up to Ruby to act as middleman to try to negotiate better rates. 

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