Coda: the successful remake of La Famille Bélier [critique]

Praised at Sundance, Sian Heder’s film has been available today on Apple TV + and reveals the talent of young Emilia Jones.

Obviously, at the start, there is a certain mistrust. Jail, Nikita The dinner of idiots, The Great Path… in all genres, in all styles, American remakes of French films often turn into disaster. So what about that of The Aries Family ? Let’s say from the outset that the enthusiastic positive rumor born at Sundance (there was a combined Grand Prix and the Audience Award) did not lie.

Starting from the same basic situation (a deaf family whose non-deaf daughter discovers a gift for singing that her profits encourage her to dig, even if taking off in this way is initially experienced as an abandonment by her parents and his brother), Sian Heder does more than just cut and paste. By entrusting the role of parents to deaf actors, she shifts the center of gravity of the plot, which becomes the story of a family more than a learning story. But above all she understood perfectly that such a universal subject only takes its interest by grabbing it in the most personal way possible. Coda has nothing of a French film transposed to the United States but has the color of a real American film where the fishermen in galley of Massachusetts have replaced the farmers of Mayenne. A real troupe film too, carried by the communicative pleasure of its actors to play together, from the amazing Marlee Matlin to the luminous Emilia Jones in her first big role on the big screen. And the empathetic gaze that the filmmaker casts on this story, its characters and its actors takes away Coda of its worst enemy: the tear facility.

By Sian Heder With Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur… Duration 1h51. Available August 13 on Apple Tv +

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