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CODA (Apple TV+)

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The challenges of being the only hearing member of a close-knit family are movingly explored in this drama, the title of which is an acronym for child of deaf adults.

That phrase describes the situation of the film's main character (Emilia Jones), the 17-year-old scion of a working-class fishing clan (rounded out by parents Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur and older brother Daniel Durant) in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her love of singing prompts her to join her school choir (led by Eugenio Derbez) and leaves her struggling to decide whether she should try to get into a prestigious music college or stay at home where she has always served as her relatives' interpreter. She receives sympathetic support via her burgeoning romance with a fellow vocalist (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) on whom she has long had a crush.

Unfortunately, the salty quality of some of the silent banter that gets tossed around in the protagonist's loving household, together with other mature elements, makes this high-quality coming-of-age story inappropriate for kids, although the insight it provides into the culture it so authentically depicts may prompt the parents of at least some older teens to overlook these lapses.

Watch out for: Brief physical violence, drug use, a sequence involving mostly off-screen marital lovemaking, frequent crude and crass language, occasional innuendo, some scatological humor. 
Rated: A-III, adults. MPAA: PG-13.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021