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Catching up with CODA

So every year I look at critic's lists from place like Sight and Sound, New York Times, the New Yorker. Looking for things that might be interesting. And I look at Oscar nominations, but with less interest. Since the Oscars always trend toward big commercially successful movies, they generally leave out much that is of interest to me.

But just today, I read that CODA had some big momentum, and I thought somewhat reluctantly that I should see it. The only thing I knew was that it was about a hearing kid in a deaf family that wanted to sing, and that sounded pretty dull to me.

I was surprised to really enjoy it. It is, to be sure, a very common and familiar movie story, a family drama. But like any formula genre, it can be done well, and in this case, the parts click together in a most satisfying experience. The deafness does add novelty to the family relationships, but the easy profane banter would have been fun in any language. And the family is brought to life by 4 brilliant performances.

Really liked it a lot. As far as winning, I'd personally go for Drive My Car or Power of the Dog, but if momentum pushes CODA to the top, I'd be happy for them.

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