The 94th Academy Awards were held on March 27th, 2022 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where CODA won the awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and Troy Kotsur won the award for Best Supporting Actor.
CODA, which was backed up by Apple TV+, was already a front runner for the win as the movie was highly appreciated by the critics and was well received by the audience since its release at the Sundance Film Festival in winter 2021 and later on Apple TV+ after they purchased the rights. The movie is an English version of the French movie "La Famille Belier."
Director and writer Sian Heder’s movie takes a look into the lives of deaf parents who raise their hearing daughter, who dreams of being a singer and going off to college but the problem is that she is also their interpreter. CODA is regarded as one of the most successful movies of 2021 and with CODA’s win, Apple TV+ became the first movie streaming platform to win the award for Best Picture in the history of the Oscars. Tim Cook took to his social media to congratulate the cast of CODA. Dan Ives who is an analyst at Wedbush said that the win seems like a game-changing opportunity for the streaming platform in terms of content that will now go on the platform and the people who will be associated with it in future.
While accepting the award, Philippe Rousselet, a proud producer of the film, expressed his gratitude to the Academy for allowing CODA to make history. He said to the co-stars that they have not only made a beautiful and loving family on-screen but also off-screen, and everybody wants to be a part of it. He thanked everyone who was involved in the project and thanked the Academy for recognizing a movie about love and family in this difficult time.
Sian Heder took to her social media to thank everyone, especially the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science and the fans that showered support and love on the movie. She sent her love to the ones who were moved by watching the movie and recommended it to their friends and family. Earlier, she spoke to People Magazine where she mentioned that making a movie like CODA was an ego-less experience and she had to figure out how to let the story be authentic and honest. While accepting the award she added that writing and directing the movie was life changing for her.
The director-writer also shared that she learned American Sign Language to prepare for the project and mentioned that learning ASL is a lynchpin to understanding the deaf culture, adding that English and ASL have a very interesting relationship as the concepts and ideas that are delivered in ASL are different. CODA was nominated alongside brilliant movies including The Power of the Dog, West Side Story, Dune, Don’t Look Up, Belfast, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, and Nightmare Alley.
CODA stars Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin, Daniel Durant, Emilia Jones, and Eugenio Derbez, and at the Academy Awards 2022, Troy Kotsur won the award for Best Supporting Actor and became the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar and the second deaf actor to win the award. Marlee Matlin was the first deaf actor to win an Oscar for her performance in Children of a Lesser God. While accepting his award, Troy, in sign language, praised his father and mentioned that he had learned so much from him and that he was his hero. Troy Kotsur dedicated his Oscar to the deaf community and said that this is their moment.
Troy Kotsur said that he never imagined that he’d be standing here receiving the award and thanked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science for recognizing the work and story that was shown in CODA. He is grateful that the movie was able to reach the White House and touch the hearts of President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden and everyone who works at the White House. The actor thanked the Deaf Theatre stages where he was allowed to have an opportunity to develop and work on his craft. He praised Sian Heder and said that she was the best communicator and called her the bridge between the industry and the deaf artists.
Marlee Matlin, after the Academy Awards 2022, spoke to the LA Times via her interpreter and said that the recognition that Troy Kotsur has been receiving makes her happy as it was long overdue. She added that this is not the time for them to sit back and relax; instead, their work to bring Deaf culture and artists into the industry is ongoing and should continue.
The actress said that she is grateful that her work in Children of a Lesser God is still appreciated, but there is nothing like CODA that has managed to represent the Deaf community beautifully and sentimentally. Marlee added that CODA portrayed their life of Deaf culture and deaf jokes and sign language jokes, challenges with family life, everyday life struggles, hearing people, and a child that is an interpreter in a way that has never been done before.
The cast of CODA, including the actress, believes that the success and recognition the movie has received showcases that people are aware of the Deaf culture and sign language and that the conversation is starting. They would love to see more deaf people represented at the award ceremonies in the future and are looking forward to discussing it with the Academy soon.
CODA has already won the Producers Guild of America award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture, the Writers Guild of America award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Troy Kotsur has won the BAFTA, SAG, Critics’ Choice Awards, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Awards.
Congratulations to the cast of CODA!