The Academy Awards night was flooded with tears as family drama CODA wins Best Picture
The 10-million-dollar production CODA, which first premiered at the virtual Sundance Film Festival in winter 2021, is going home with the Oscars award for Best Picture. Although it emerged as an underdog, the deaf family drama film gradually climbed up the ladder and became an Academy feel-good favourite.
The coming-of-age movie, which is based on the 2014 French film La Famille Bélier, is written and directed by Siân Heder. Heder also bagged the prize for Best Adapted Screenplay for this film. It stars a predominantly deaf cast including Daniel Durant, Troy Kotsur, and Marlee Matlin. Kotsur, meanwhile, clinched the Best Actor in a Supporting Role award for his impressive performance in CODA. With this, CODA made history for the deaf community after winning all of its three nominated categories.
Lady Gaga and Liza Minelli presented the award category.
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Impactful and sincere, CODA is a musical drama that beautifully depicts a family torn by differences and conflicts brought upon by their palpable love for each other. The title is derived from the same acronym which stands for child or children of deaf adults, which refers to its main character Ruby (Emilia Jones).
Previously, the film earned accolades from SAG awards for Best Ensemble, the top prize at PAG awards, and two major awards from Bafta, among others.
Kotsur has brought something new to the table; he is now the first deaf man who bagged an Academy Award for acting. "This is dedicated to the Deaf community, the CODA community and the disabled community," Kotsur said in his acceptance speech. "This is our moment."
In the movie, Kotsur takes on the role of Frank Rossi, a fisherman in Gloucester, Mass. He is the patriarch of a deaf family who struggles to understand his hearing daughter's hopes of becoming a renowned singer.
Among Kotsur's winning performance in the film is the scene where he asks his daughter to sing as he holds her throat to feel vibrations.
Kotsur was born deaf in 1968, and studied acting at the Gallaudet University in Washington D.C.