CODA was the right film to start this year’s virtual Sundance Film Festival. Writer-director Siân Heder’s coming-of-age drama about a girl who is the only hearing person in her deaf family premiered last night in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. The pic was well received among buyers, and we hear there have been multiple offers already.
We hear the bidding is heading close to Palm Springs territory. That was the Andy Samberg-Cristin Milioti movie that broke the Sundance sales record last year with its $22.5 million deal to Neon and Hulu. Whether it gets there or not, everyone wants this one, and CODA is surely to be the first giant deal of this Sundance.
The film (the title’s acronym is for Child of Deaf Adults) centers on Ruby (Emilia Jones), the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, she finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents. The pic is based on the award-winning French hit La famille belier.
Said Deadline’s Pete Hammond in his review after CODA‘s premiere last night: “It hits you right in the heart, not only as a moving story of what it means to be in a family, but also one about becoming your own person and following a dream.”
Eugenio Derbez, Marlee Matlin and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo also star.