Los Angeles: CODA has been named best picture, beating out the likes of Belfast, Drive My Car and Power of the Dog at the 2022 Academy Awards. It’s a historic win for a film that brings Deaf culture, and Deaf actors, to the forefront.
Written and directed by Sian Heder, CODA is based on the 2014 French film La Famille Bélier. The English-language remake centers on Ruby Rossi, the only hearing member of a Deaf family, who struggles to balance family obligations and her love of music.
Distributed by Apple TV+, it is also the first best picture win for a streaming service. The film earned three of Apple TV+’s six Oscar nominations, and won each one: best picture, best adapted screenplay for Sian Heder, and best supporting actor for Troy Kotsur, who joins his co-star Marlee Matlin as the only Deaf actors ever win Oscars for acting.
“CODA” rode a wave of goodwill driven by its cast including Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur and Daniel Durant. It’s the first film with a largely deaf cast to win best picture. “CODA” managed that despite being one of the least-nominated films, with only three coming into Sunday. Not since 1932’s “Grand Hotel” has a movie won best picture with fewer than four nods.
Kotsur, who took home his statue in the second hour of the Academy Awards, was widely expected to become the first deaf actor since Matlin in 1987 to win an Oscar.