Finding Your Voice: A Review of Coda

Are you ready to embark on a melodic journey that will resonate with your soul? Look no further than the captivating film, “Coda.” Set against the backdrop of a small fishing village, this heartfelt coming-of-age story explores the power of music to heal, inspire, and ultimately, find your voice. With its endearing characters, breathtaking cinematography, and an unforgettable soundtrack, we promise that “Coda” will strike a chord within you, leaving you with memories that will linger long after the final credits roll.


Overview of the movie Coda

Coda, directed by Sian Heder, is a heartwarming and captivating film that explores themes of identity, passion, family, and finding one’s voice. The title of the movie, Coda, is an acronym for Child of Deaf Adults, which lays the foundation for the unique perspective and story it tells. Released in 2021, Coda not only showcases a touching narrative but also sheds light on the deaf community, their struggles, and the importance of inclusivity.

Impression of the movie

From the very beginning, Coda captivated us with its authentic portrayal of the deaf community, charming characters, and beautiful storytelling. The movie seamlessly combines elements of drama, comedy, and music to create a memorable and emotionally resonant experience. The performances are outstanding, and the cinematography and music further elevate the overall impact of the film. Coda has managed to touch our hearts and leave a lasting impression, prompting us to dive deeper into its storyline, characters, performances, audiovisual elements, and social importance.


Summary of the plot

Coda follows the journey of Ruby Rossi, a seventeen-year-old girl who is the only hearing member in her deaf family. Ruby, played by the talented Emilia Jones, has been the vital connection between her parents and the hearing world, often serving as their interpreter. However, as she navigates her final year of high school, Ruby discovers her passion for singing, which leads to a series of transformative experiences. Ruby joins the school choir, mentored by her caring music teacher, played by Eugenio Derbez, and endeavors to pursue her dreams of attending a prestigious music school. This path, though liberating and empowering for Ruby, also brings challenges as she becomes torn between her responsibilities to her family and her desire for personal fulfillment.

Exploration of the central themes

One of the central themes in Coda is the search for identity. Ruby embarks on a journey of self-discovery, grappling with her role in the world and her place within her family. The film sensitively explores the tension between personal aspirations and the obligations we feel towards our loved ones. Additionally, Coda delves into themes of communication and the power of music as a universal language. It underscores the importance of fostering inclusivity and understanding among different communities, particularly those with hearing impairments. The movie encourages viewers to embrace their passions, overcome obstacles, and find their own unique voices.

Finding Your Voice: A Review of Coda

Character Development

Main characters and their roles

Coda introduces us to a diverse and compelling cast of characters whose journeys interweave to create a rich and engaging narrative. Ruby Rossi, as the film’s protagonist, undergoes significant character development throughout the story. Her parents, Jackie and Frank Rossi, played brilliantly by the talented Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur, bring authenticity and depth to their roles as deaf parents navigating the challenges of raising a hearing child. The supportive and caring music teacher, Bernardo Villalobos, portrayed by Eugenio Derbez, provides guidance and encouragement to Ruby on her musical journey. Each character brings a unique perspective to the film, showcasing the complexities of relationships, familial bonds, and personal growth.

Analysis of character growth

Through Ruby’s journey, Coda portrays a powerful narrative of personal growth and self-discovery. Initially, Ruby feels trapped between her family’s expectations and her own desires. As she begins to explore her passion for music, Ruby finds the courage to pursue her dreams, despite the obstacles she faces. Throughout the film, Ruby learns to navigate the delicate balance between supporting her family and advocating for her own needs. Her character growth serves as an inspiring reminder that embracing our passions can lead to personal fulfillment and bridge the gap between different worlds.


Evaluation of acting skills

The performances in Coda are exceptionally captivating, providing authenticity and depth to the characters. Emilia Jones delivers an outstanding portrayal of Ruby, expertly capturing the nuanced emotions and conflicts she experiences as she navigates her dual roles within her family and the hearing world. Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur bring remarkable authenticity to their respective roles as Ruby’s deaf parents, effortlessly conveying the love, humor, and challenges they face. Eugenio Derbez’s performance as the supportive music teacher resonates with sincerity, adding a layer of charm and warmth to the film. The entire cast excels in their performances, creating a compelling and believable world that transports viewers into the story.

Highlighting standout performances

While the entire cast of Coda delivers exceptional performances, Emilia Jones’ portrayal of Ruby is truly standout. Jones brings a natural and raw talent to her role, immersing herself in the character and effortlessly conveying the emotions Ruby experiences throughout her journey. From moments of joy and self-doubt to moments of vulnerability and strength, Jones captures the essence of Ruby with incredible authenticity. Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur also stand out with their captivating performances, effectively depicting the complexities of deaf parenthood and their unwavering love for their daughter. Their chemistry and portrayal of the Rossi family dynamics add depth and emotional resonance to the film.

Finding Your Voice: A Review of Coda


Visual style and techniques used

Coda employs a visually stunning aesthetic that enhances the film’s storytelling. The cinematography, helmed by the talented Paula Huidobro, captures the essence of the scenic coastal town where the story takes place, immersing viewers in its beauty. The use of wide shots and capturing natural lighting contribute to the film’s authenticity, allowing viewers to feel connected to the characters and their surroundings. Additionally, the visual style makes deliberate use of close-ups during emotional moments, effectively conveying the intensity of the characters’ experiences.

Impact on storytelling

The cinematography in Coda plays a crucial role in shaping the film’s storytelling. The visually captivating shots of the coastal town create a sense of place and immerse viewers in the world of the story. The careful framing and composition contribute to the intimacy of the characters’ relationships and highlight their emotional journeys. The visual style enhances the overall viewing experience, complementing the narrative and evoking a range of emotions within the audience.

Music and Sound

Significance of sound design and soundtrack

The sound design and soundtrack of Coda hold immense significance in enriching the film’s narrative and emotional impact. As a movie centered around music and the power it holds, the sound design plays a crucial role in capturing the essence of performances, creating an immersive experience for the audience. The soundtrack is carefully curated, featuring a blend of original music and popular songs that complement the emotional beats of the story.

Effect on the viewing experience

The music and sound in Coda heighten the emotional impact of the film, allowing viewers to connect more deeply with the characters and their experiences. The powerful fusion of music and storytelling creates poignant moments that elicit genuine emotional responses. Whether it is the soaring vocals of a choir performance or the delicate soundscapes that capture the beauty of silence, the music and sound design add depth and texture to the film, further enhancing the viewing experience.

Finding Your Voice: A Review of Coda

Emotional Impact

How the movie evokes emotions

Coda successfully evokes a wide range of emotions, from joy and laughter to tears and introspection. The film’s heartfelt exploration of themes such as family, identity, and pursuing one’s dreams resonates with viewers on a profound level. The genuine performances, relatable characters, and poignant storytelling create an emotional connection that persists long after the movie ends. Coda invites audiences to reflect on their own experiences, encouraging them to embrace their passions, challenge societal expectations, and appreciate the power of communication and understanding.

Connection with the audience

By portraying the challenges, joys, and complexities of the deaf community, Coda fosters a connection and understanding between hearing audiences and the experiences of the deaf community. The film invites viewers to step into the shoes of its characters, enabling them to empathize with their struggles, hopes, and dreams. Moreover, Coda’s emphasis on the importance of inclusivity and representation resonates with viewers, fostering a sense of unity and creating an emotional bond between the audience and the film.

Critical Reception

Review aggregation and ratings

Coda has received widespread critical acclaim and garnered high ratings from various review aggregators. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an impressive 93% approval rating based on reviews from both critics and audiences alike. It has been praised for its authentic portrayal of the deaf community, exceptional performances, and emotionally resonant storytelling. The film’s impactful exploration of themes and its ability to evoke genuine emotions have contributed to its positive reception.

Analysis of positive and negative reviews

Positive reviews of Coda praise its heartfelt storytelling, exceptional performances, and authentic representation of the deaf community. Critics applaud the movie’s ability to strike a delicate balance between comedy and drama, resulting in a genuinely touching and relatable narrative. The film’s exploration of themes such as identity, pursuing passion, and the power of communication has been lauded for its emotional depth. While negative reviews for Coda are sparse, some critics have expressed a desire for further development of certain characters and subplots. However, these critiques do not undermine the overall positive reception and impact of the film.

Finding Your Voice: A Review of Coda

Social Importance

Representation and inclusivity in Coda

Coda holds significant social importance through its representation and inclusivity, especially for the deaf community. The movie not only features deaf actors in leading roles but also emphasizes the experiences, struggles, and triumphs of the deaf community through nuanced storytelling. By showcasing the beauty of sign language, the film breaks down barriers and fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of deaf culture. Coda’s portrayal of a deaf family and the challenges faced by the hearing protagonist generates conversations about inclusivity in both the film industry and society as a whole.

Impact on the deaf community

Coda has had a profound impact on the deaf community, serving as a catalyst for dialogue, representation, and recognition. The film brings issues of deaf culture and identity to the forefront, contributing to a more inclusive and accessible future. By portraying deaf characters and highlighting their perspectives, Coda challenges misconceptions and celebrates the unique experiences and talents within the deaf community. The film’s success and critical acclaim have paved the way for increased opportunities and visibility for deaf actors and filmmakers.


Reflecting on the overall experience

Coda is an exceptional film that combines compelling storytelling, outstanding performances, and impactful themes. From its authentic portrayal of the deaf community to its exploration of identity and the pursuit of passion, the movie captivates and resonates with audiences on multiple levels. The performances, cinematography, music, and sound design all contribute to the film’s emotional impact, creating a truly unforgettable viewing experience.

Recommendation for audiences

We wholeheartedly recommend Coda to audiences of all backgrounds. The film’s universal themes, relatable characters, and powerful storytelling make it a must-watch for anyone seeking a heartfelt and thought-provoking cinematic experience. Coda not only entertains but also educates, fostering a greater understanding and appreciation for the deaf community. Prepare to be swept away by the incredible performances, mesmerizing visuals, and the profound emotional journey that Coda offers.

Finding Your Voice: A Review of Coda