CODA won best picture at the 2022 Academy Awards, beating out Belfast, Drive My Car, and Power of the Dog. Deaf culture and Deaf actors are highlighted in this film, which is a historic win.
Sian Heder wrote and directed CODA, based on the French film La Famille Bélier. The English-language remake is about Ruby Rossi, a hearing member of a Deaf family who struggles to balance family responsibilities and her love for music.
The title of CODA has a double meaning, both as the name of the group and as the title of the piece of music. “It’s a story about the end of childhood,” director Sian Heder told NPR’s Here and Now.
Apple TV+ distributed the film, making it the first best picture award for a streaming service. Troy Kotsur, who joined co-star Marlee Matlin as the only deaf actors to ever win an Oscar for acting, earned three of Apple TV+’s six Oscar nominations: best picture, best adapted screenplay for Sian Heder, and best supporting actor for Troy Kotsur.
Amazon Studio’s Manchester by the Sea made waves in 2017 when the streaming studio became the first to be nominated for a best picture award. Their growing presence is only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented many moviegoers from attending local theaters, as well as the increase in streaming films shortly after their theatrical release. In the weeks leading up to the Best Picture award ceremony, eight of the ten nominees were available on streaming services.
The increased number of awards received by streaming services reflects a new stage in the movie industry – one no longer dependent on physical screens.