Total Film

warming signs

DEAF-CULTURE DRAMA IS ALL-ROUND WINNER…

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CODA TBC FILM OUT 13 AUGUST APPLE TV+

Showered with awards at this year’s Sundance Festival, this bawdy, heart-warming coming-of-age tale about a gutsy US teen torn between her Deaf family and her musical dreams is a certified crowdpleas­er.

As a ‘Child Of Deaf Adults’,Ruby (Emilia Jones) pinballs between high school and the failing family fishing business which needs her to deal with the hearing world. Director Sian Heder puts some welcome blue-collar grit into her adaptation of cosy French hit

La Famille Belier, showing how ‘bullshit quotas’ and rapacious fish dealers threaten the family livelihood.

Things get a bit Glee-ful, however, when Ruby falls for choir duet partner Miles (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and struggles to cram in tutoring for the college singing scholarshi­p she’s long wanted. Still, the movie scores big with

its fond, hilarious portrait of Ruby’s sweary, sex-mad family, whose theatrical sign language is a joy to watch. Cunningly dropping out the sound in crowded bars, and during Ruby’s big concert, the film dunks us into their frustratio­n and bafflement at her new passion.

Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur are great as Ruby’s tough yet tender parents (Kotsur, touching Jones’ throat to ‘hear’ her sing, is delightful). But it’s Jones’ movie (her voice the only clue that she’s Aled Jones’ daughter), her performanc­e propelled by Ruby’s sweet, stubborn energy and soulful tunes. Kate Stables

 ??  ?? It was an unusual prom outfit, but she managed to pull it off.
It was an unusual prom outfit, but she managed to pull it off.

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