CODA has all the trappings of a predictable, feel-good family drama. You’ll recognize immediately the talented teen, the family pulling her back, the cute love interest, the do-gooder mentor, and the swirl of coincidences that blend them all together in one sweet story. But CODA is so irresistibly heartfelt, well-acted, and vital (all the deaf characters are actually played by deaf actors), that you can’t help but be won by its charms.
Aside from its big heart, the film’s decision to express itself mostly through ASL and music is an impressive technical feat as well. Altogether, these elements make for a refreshing, enjoyable, and simply heartwarming watch.