“CODA” is coming to theaters and streaming this August, Apple announced today. The company picked up Siân Heder’s acclaimed family drama out of the Sundance Film Festival for a reported $25 million, the biggest purchase in the festival’s history. “CODA” went on to dominate the 2021 Sundance awards, becoming the first movie to win all top prizes in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section: Audience Awrd, Directing Award, Grand Jury Prize, and Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble. “CODA” will debut in theaters and on Apple TV+ on Friday, August 13.
Apple’s official “CODA” synopsis reads: “Seventeen-year-old Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the sole hearing member of a deaf family — a CODA, the child of deaf adults. Her life revolves around acting as interpreter for her parents (Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur) and working on the family’s struggling fishing boat every day before school with her father and older brother (Daniel Durant). But when Ruby joins her high school’s choir club, she discovers a gift for singing and soon finds herself drawn to her duet partner Miles (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo). Encouraged by her enthusiastic, tough-love choirmaster (Eugenio Derbez) to apply to a prestigious music school, Ruby finds herself torn between the obligations she feels to her family and the pursuit of her own dreams.”
The film also stars Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (“Vikings”), Amy Forsyth (“Beautiful Boy”), and Kevin Chapman (“City on a Hill”). The film is written and directed by Siân Heder (“Tallulah,” “Little America”). The film is produced by Vendome Pictures and Pathé, with Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger, and Jérôme Seydoux serving as producers, and Ardavan Safaee and Sarah Borch-Jacobsen as executive producers.
“CODA” received positive reviews from critics at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. IndieWire’s own Kate Erbland praised the film for Heder’s direction and handling of the film’s themes in her B+ review in January.
“As Heder’s film evolves and leans further into the patterns of the genre, that seeming familiarity becomes one of its greatest assets,” Erbland wrote in her review. “You may think you know this story, and you probably do. But you’ve never quite seen it like this, with these characters, and with this care paid to an underrepresented portion of the population. In fitting so neatly inside expectations, Heder makes a sterling argument for more films like it — which is to say, movies that focus on under-served characters and performers (all of Heder’s deaf characters are played by deaf actors, the film is subtitled) that still contain massive appeal for everyone. It’s a crowd-pleaser that works its formula well, even as it breaks new ground.”